A few days ago, I got a bit dreamy thinking about summer vegetables. Our first CSA share is being delivered this Tuesday, and I can not wait to have an abundance of local deliciousness in my kitchen. As a prelude to the eggplant, zucchini, and summer squashes that are going to accompany our kale and leafy greens soon, I combined these colorful veggies in a recipe that celebrates summer, with a Mediterranean feel.
Aside from the summer veggies, this dish really started with a carrot puree. I made a sweet and savory carrot puree a few weeks ago, and have been thinking about other ways to get creative with the same sort of idea ever since. I started out by boiling six medium sized carrots in water for 15 minutes, draining most of the water, and throwing the carrots and a bit of left over water into the blender, not knowing where to go next. Looking at my spices for inspiration, I warmed up a bit of ghee in a pan and toasted some anise seed and ground cardamom, and then added a lovely garlic clove that was wrapped in purple paper-skin and a tablespoon of finely chopped ginger root. Once the anise seeds were popping and everything else was wafting up to my nose with an almost intoxicatingly delightful aroma, I added the mixture into the blender, as an experiment.
It turned out quite good. Not as sweet as my previous carrot puree without the raisins and nuts, but delicious just the same. It longed to be paired with something, though, so I spread it out generously on to plates, ready to let its flavor flirt with the tastes of a colorful main course.
source). Not something bad to line your plate with, right?
I had just cooked up a batch of garbanzo beans in the crock pot, and added those in for their nutty flavor, protein, and carbs. You can see a bit of paprika on the pan, which I accompanied with ginger and ground cardamom to match the spices in the carrot puree.
Summer Veggies and Garbanzo Beans over Carrot Puree
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ghee, divided (or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 2 teaspoons cardamom, ground and divided
- 2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger, or ground ginger, divided
- 2 garlic clove, smashed and chopped finely, divided
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 1 eggplant, chopped
- 1 summer squash, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 6-8 kale leaves, off the stalk and chopped
- 2 cups precooked garbanzo beans (or one can)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt, to taste
With that same (now empty) pan, on the same burner on medium heat, add in the rest of your ghee, ginger, and cardamom. Next into the pan is the onions and garlic clove. Let cook until translucent. You may need to add about 1/4 cup of water, or more ghee during this process. This should take about 6 minutes. Add in the eggplant and 1/4 cup of water if you haven't already. Give the eggplant a good sprinkling of salt to ensure they don't taste the least bit bitter in the meal. Turn the heat down to low and cover for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is super soft. Check things every once in a while to make sure you don't need more water. Next, add in the rest of the veggies and garbanzo beans, stirring things around a bit. Stir in the paprika, and add a bit more salt if necessary.
While things are cooking, spread out your carrot puree onto plates. Be generous. Top with the cooked vegetables, and add a bit more carrot puree if you desire. Serves 2.
I have a project in the works that will take some blogger community involvement to tell you about in my next post! I'm a bit excited for it!