Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Using up my fresh garden veggies

The garden explosion is on. The zucchini have hit a lull, though any minute now, they look like they could just burst forth another brood of offspring. Eggplant are weighing down the eggplant vine to the dirty ground. Tomatoes abound. And the Kale...

My frig is stockpiled and all I can think is: I need some new recipes stat. On google, I typed "tomato and eggplant recipes" into the engine. Lo and behold, I happen upon a bounty of recipes, but one it particular seemed the order of the day.

Whole Wheat Penne w/ Eggplant, Zucchini, Kale, and Tomatoes. It seemed the recipe created specifically for my August garden. 
What you need:
2 T olive oil
2 med eggplants, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 med. zucchini, diced
1 c. Kale
1 c. tomato (about one large one)
3T parmesan
salt and pepper
2 portions whole wheat penne

1. Boil the pasta.That's easy enough...
2. Heat large skillet over med. heat. Add oil and onion and saute 2 minutes. Not having 2 medium eggplants, dice up an assortment of mini fairytales and another non-globe variety. Realize you didn't cut up enough eggplant. Worry that you are running out of time and the oil is still sizzling. Enlist a kitchen helper (by way of handy cooking pseudo house husband) to help in the dicing. Manage to get all necessary eggplant. Add eggplant, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt. This will make for an oddly pretty mix of light brown with edges of purple ranging from lavender to aubergine and spots of red and dark brown. Cook until eggplant is browned, stirring, 6-8 minutes.
3. Realize you only have a tiny zucchini left from the garden's first zucchini onslaught. Dice it up anyway, aware that your meal will be light on the zucchini. Add zucchini and cook another 2 minutes. Add kale and cook one minute more. Add tomato, freshly plucked.
4. Stir and simmer about 1 to 2 more minutes. Add pasta water as needed so that the pan doesn't get too dry and the vegetables don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add pasta to skillet. Add parmesan (The recipe originally calls for goat cheese. Who just keeps goat cheese lying around the refrigerator anyway?). Toss. Serve in bowls with an extra sprinkle of shredded cheese if desired.

The end result was very picture worthy, but very bland. I'm sure a few more spices could give it that needed pick-me-up. In my case, I hadn't had a lot of protein that day anyway, so I cooked up some fake sausage, cut it up, and added it to my bowl. Then there was plenty of spice to go around.


Even with the additions, I'm not sure I'd make this one again. There are so many great recipes out there to waste a re-do on mediocrity. Even so, I suppose it is a handy way to use the fresh veggies from the garden and that stockpile of pasta noodles we have in the pantry. I might just Kate-ify this one yet. I'll keep you posted.

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