Monday, July 12, 2010

From vine to table, the very first time

Saturday night I went with some friends to see The Kids are Alright. In the movie one of the characters is an organic/local restaurateur with his own garden. There are a few suggestive mentions of just picked foods in a sexual way. There’s a tender moment where he is working in the garden with his daughter. He picks a pepper, breaks it open with his hands, and gives her half. They eat it joyfully right there in the garden.
Today I cut three nice size cucumbers, about two dozen Sungold and mystery cherry tomatoes (the plant was sent to me as if it was a Sungold but it definitely isn’t), and a beautiful lavender and white streaked eggplant.

I knew these items would round out our Chinese-American leftovers. I didn’t know the leftovers would sit on the bench while these garden stars shined.

The eggplant, about 6 ounces, was cubed and then placed into a non-stick skillet with a tablespoon of avocado oil, ½ teaspoon of cumin, and 4 or 5 shakes of chili powder. After about 15 minutes the eggplant was tender and a sprinkle of sugar and freshly minced clove of garlic were added. This was delicious and we can barely wait to harvest more eggplant to eat this dish again.
I wanted to make some sort of quick pickle with the cucumbers but I couldn’t type up a fast enough search online. I settled on using seasoned Japanese rice wine vinegar, a bit of sugar, and red chili flakes plus a bit of minced red onion as a pickling/marinade for the cucumbers.
Finally, the tomatoes were served as they came, warm off the vine and contrasting bites of sweet and sharp tomato goodness.
Remember way back when you first heard your parents, or grandparents, tell you nothing tastes better than food that you’ve grown?

Cucumber salad,  just-picked tomatoes, sauteed eggplant, House Chili Soy Gluten with rice

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