Monday, August 04, 2008

Weekend cooking

This weekend my companion left for a four-day conference in New York. Thinking that he needed a proper sendoff, I decided to make some Saturday morning waffles. I used this Belgian buttermilk waffle recipe from Epicurious, substituting one cup of whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour to make them a little bit healthier. The recipe calls for topping the waffles with glazed bananas, but I had just picked up some blackberries at the North Market that I couldn't wait to use, so I looked for a way to incorporate them into the topping.

I ended up making the two-berry syrup from this Cooking Light recipe using blackberries, frozen Michigan blueberries (the last of last summer's crop) and maple syrup from Trader Joe's. They were fantastic, and took no time at all to whip up (no whipping egg whites

I'm also including a photo of my (rather modest) market haul from Saturday. The cantaloupe I bought from Rhoad's was so ripe, it was cracking open! I couldn't wait to get it home and cut it up. I bought Swiss chard for the first time and a big bag of basil from Just this Farm. Time for homemade pesto! I'll be using Mark Bittman's recipe from How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Eggplant pizza

I just wanted to share an easy and healthy way to sample some of those beautiful eggplants that are popping up at the farmers' markets right now. I got some beauties (pictured) at the Pearl Alley Farmers' Market on my lunch hour and decided to try my hand at homemade eggplant pizza. Admittedly, this is not an original idea. My mom tried it out after being inspired by a recent trip to Italy, where pizzas with seasonal toppings like eggplant and arugula are seemingly everywhere. They put those uninspired American pepperoni pizzas to shame! (And, they're better for you.)

Anyway, making eggplant pizza is very simple, especially if you get lazy like I did and buy a pre-made pizza crust. (I like the Boboli 100% whole wheat.) Just thinly slice a few small eggplants, including as many varieties as you can find. Then brush the slices with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Slather your pizza crust with some pizza sauce (I used Carfagna's) and a thin layer of shredded mozzarella. Then layer the eggplant slices, topping them with additional mozzarella and some freshly-grated parmigiano-reggiano. Bake pizza at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, or simply follow the directions on the pizza crust package. For more color, top with some chopped Italian parsley.