A little over a month ago, I wrote about the bounty of wonderful summer vegetables our family was enjoying while hunkering at home (see June 12 post). We had so many zucchini and eggplants I did not know what to do with them and did not want to repeat the same recipe time after time. I actually went to far as to roast a load of the small, round eggplants and freeze them for some future use!
In the meantime, we have continued to get more of these wonderful vegetables in the weekly food foraging forays, though they are now being replaced with salads of different forms. Here’s a few of the ways I found to use them that both Constant Companion and Daughter (well she did not like everything) enjoyed.
At one point, I decided to roast the eggplants and zucchini together for a use that would come to me. They are excellent as toppers on pasta or just eaten on their own.
Slice the vegetables in nice size “coins.” Toss with lemon zest, salt, and basil (fresh or dried). Roast in a 400 F oven for forty minutes and, voila, roast vegetables.
I took a car-less friend shopping a few weeks ago. At the market she pointed out ready-made empanada shells (masa de empenadas). I thought I’d give them a try. I’ve made eggplant borekas before, why not eggplant* (with a little zucchini thrown in) empanadas. I also had some queso colombiano (cheese), and again, why not include that, too.
*Note: I mashed the roasted vegetables until they were pretty fine.
And there we were, eggplant empanada/borekas with cheese. My closing technique is pretty simple, not a lovely rope design; just the simple fork closure.
After a few months with a dearth of eggs, my fridge was overflowing with beautiful brown and white, large, extra large and jumbo eggs. Actually at the food gleaning I was given a package of liquid eggs and wanted to use them quickly.
It was time for a meatless dinner with eggs and our continuing bounty of vegetables. I remembered the lovely Spanish tortillas or fritattas I enjoyed in Barcelona (a place on my list to visit when we can travel again).
My base for frittata #1 (and all of them actually) was potatoes, sliced, and fried in chicken schmaltz (that’s a cooking adventure for another post!) along with a handful of sea salt.
Number one included our beloved zucchini which I sautéd with sliced scallions separately. When the potatoes were beautifully browned, I added the equivalent of twelve eggs and waited for it to firm up. Next, I added the zucchini, scallion mix – no stirring – just smooth the surface.
When the eggs were pretty firm, I popped it into a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I was able to flip over#1 like they do on tv to show off the amazing crispy, browned potatoes.
Daughter enjoyed this so much that I attempted #2 at the end of the week. I did not know how long the box eggs would last. Again, I started by browning the potatoes in the schmaltz, added the remaining liquid eggs (the equivalent of 8 this time). To this I added left-over chopped broccoli, a good use for leftovers. Success, another meal enjoyed!
A few weeks went by, as they seem to be doing all by themselves these days. Within the confines of a curfew, our city and county are opening up. Restaurants can serve with outdoor seating. Many stores are now open for business. I continue to limit my excursions to the grocery store, the pharmacy, and food distributions. We had the eggs. We had the potatoes. Why not another meatless meal, be conscious of the environment. This one was a Chopped fritatta, gleaned from the refrigerator. Same routine with the potatoes. This time whole eggs, about eight beaten. When they firmed up I added sliced sugar snap peas and garlic scapes – one of the purchases from the Asian market Constant Companion drove me to on my recent birthday! It was lovely, very nice, #3 was another hit.
What vegetables will come in next in the same proliferation? In the meantime, the many variations of fritattas I can concoct will remain in our dinner repertoire. And there’s still the frozen cooked eggplant waiting to be used for filling for borekas – that’s a idea.