Japanese Eggplant & Shishito Peppers Sweet Spicy Soy Glaze Crispy Garlic & Chopped Peanut Topping Chinese Chive Blossom Garnish
Back in August we had a most memorable meal at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinese Restaurant WP24. One of the many noteworthy side dishes was called “Hunan Spicy Eggplant, Roasted Shishito Peppers, Chili, Crisp Garlic.” Wanting to serve something similar at a recent dinner party but having no recipe, I decided to create my own interpretation of Wolfgang’s excellent side dish. It was a hit.
You’ve heard the expression “like a kid in a candy store?” Well that kid was me this past weekend at the Farmers’ Market in Palos Verdes. If it looked tasty, I bought it. No restraint whatsoever. From Japanese eggplant to okra to heirloom tomatoes. And asatsuki, carrots, red serranos, beets, patty pan squash, spinach, garlic, Anaheim chiles, Thai basil, mitsuba…I had no plan, no recipe in mind. I was simply vegetable-crazy.
8-layer farmers’ market fantasy
curried fresh carrot juice sauce with blanched okra & mitsuba
grilled green & yellow patty pan squash
sautéed spinach with sesame, garlic, soy sauce
crispy polenta cake
fire-roasted anaheim chile
fresh goat cheese & asatsuki
cumin dusted grilled beet
spicy smoky heirloom tomato & thai basil
roasted japanese eggplant, maldon smoked sea salt flakes
This is the first of many sunny recipes using Meyer Lemon Confit. On March 7th I tucked a jar of fresh Meyer lemons (submerged in sugar and salt) in my basement refrigerator. Now, three months later, I have this intense Meyer lemon confit which is enlivening our salads, pasta, fish, and all sorts of dishes.
roasted butternut squash & corn lasagna
layered with corn tortilla, shredded mozzarella, and tomatillo sauce
Already? The school year is winding to a close. It’s time to thank the parent volunteers for their energy, support, and dedication in helping maintain the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School. As is tradition, our librarian recognizes all the parent volunteers at a special “Luncheon in the Library” held in their honor. Not only is Mrs. Love an inspiring passionate librarian and mother of three Country Day students, she is also a fabulous cook! I’m thrilled to have her share her recipe here, it was a smashing success (vegetarian & gluten-free too)!
Soybean Sprout Namul with Leek & Red Bell Pepper
Namul (a Korean seasoned vegetable dish) is usually served as banchan (a side dish accompanying the main course). In atypical fashion here, I serve kongnamul (soybean sprout namul) with a sliced tofu cutlet as the main course of a heart-healthy vegetarian lunch. We enjoyed a simple bowl of vegetable dumpling in broth on the side. Crunchy sprouts pair very well with mellow sautéed leek and bright red bell pepper plus a bit of spiciness from gochugaro (Korean chili powder). Toasted sesame oil adds a rich nutty component.