September Harvest

On Sunday I harvested a bunch of goodies from the garden and spent time in the kitchen making yummy things.  Here is the evidence, a picture of the bounty, then a picture of dinner, before we sat down to eat it all up that night.  Flowers, tomatoes, purple and roma beans, carrots, tomatillos, eggplant and finally basil (which is not pictured) were harvested.  

I processed 8 cups of basil leaves and made a bunch of pesto to freeze and to enjoy this week.  

The highlight of the harvest and cooking spree was the pretty lavender eggplant that became a successful and delicious Romanian dish called salata de vinete .  I first learned how to make this dish from my Hungarian friend (who was born in Romania), Videa, who Josh and I visited in Budapest about 7 years ago.  She taught me to make a fresh mayonaise with egg, oil and lemon to then whip in with the fire roasted, peeled eggplant.  This dish requires that you use a wooden spoon to mash the roasted eggplant against a ceramic or wooden bowl so the eggplant doesn't turn color or become metallic in it's flavor.  I haven't tried my hand at making this dish on my own since my time with Videa until I was recently inspired by my Romanian friend, Elena, in Toronto, who made it for us when we were there last month.  She made such a wonderful bowlful of this treat for us to enjoy that I had her talk through the recipe with me so I would have the courage to come back to my growing eggplant and cook it when it was ready.  It was ready to be picked on Sunday and that night we dipped fresh tomato, cucumber and carrots from the garden in it, then all of a sudden it was gone.  It disappeared quickly in our stomachs because Josh and I love eating it so much.