Going into summer, lovely surplus

This past week’s surplus was so lovely – mushrooms, eggs (imagine that after months of shortages), eggplant, summer squash, and blueberries, lots of blueberries.

I turned to two dishes I’ve been playing with from time to time over the past two years – frittata or tortilla espanola and vegetarian lasagna – both of which I’ve written about before. And it’s funny how resources repeat in the seasons, afterall they used to be called seasonal. Last May, I had too many strawberries and paired a fruit soup with a main dish frittata (see 5-9-22 post). Two years ago, upon finding breadfruit in the market, I recalled a memorable visit to Barbados where a chef had incorporated the tropical ingredient into an amazing lasagna (see 6-9-21 post).

Two years earlier, when faced with too many eggs, I made cookies and scones, a frittata and a Japanese dish, Oyakodon (see 11-10-20 post). I think I’ll resurrect the latter this week and use some more of my excess eggs!

Mushroom Frittata. Start by sauteing a beautiful box of sliced cremini mushrooms with sliced onions. Next, sauted/browned sliced potatoes (I had some mixed small potatoes). Return the mushrooms/onions to the pan and top with beaten eggs (I think I used 9 medium). Cook over a medium heat til it seems firm, then put into a 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes.*

I like serving it with the potatoes on top

*Note, I don’t know why it turned brownish, but the delicious flavor is not affected.

Vegetarian Lasagna. This dish started with two eggplants, two large yellow summer squash, one large red onion, a package of fresh spinach, and the lovely breadfruit I found in the Spanish supermarket. I sliced* the eggplant (peeled) and squash, sprinkled them with olive oil and put them into a 350 degree oven with the breadfruit for about an hour. I’d rubbed the outside of the breadfruit with a little bit of oil. While all of that was in the oven, I first sauted the sliced onions, then the spinach.  When the breadfruit was done, I peeled and sliced it and gently fried the slices.

*I still do not slice the veges thinly enough for Daughter’s taste, especially the breadfruit. I think her friend slices them very, very thin and does not roast them. And, I should have roasted the breadfruit another half hour.

slicing roast breadfruit

Next was the assembly. First, a thin layer of jarred spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the roasting pan. Next, the veges layered with some onions and the spinach. Then dollops of cottage cheese (you can use ricotta) and slices of mozzarella, topped by more spaghetti sauce. Make another layer of everything. Top with the mozzarella and sauce. Bake an hour in a moderate (350 degree) oven.+

+I recommend putting the roasting pan on a baking sheet just in case the ingredients overflow while baking.

Blueberry Soup or Mustikkakeitto (Finnish Blueberry Soup), in honor of my long-time Finnish friend. In a previous lifetime, oh so long ago, we shared a house in Athens while attempting to attend Greek language school. This recipe is so easy and the results so delicious.

Start with about four cups of washed blueberries. Bring them to boil with three cups of water. Reduce heat and simmer for about twelve minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the soup, saving the liquid. Use a spoon to press the berries to get all the juice, discard the berries. Return to liquid to your saucepan. Add ¾ cup sugar,* one cinnamon stick, the zest and juice of one lemon. Bring to a boil. Mix two tbsp. of corn starch with 2 tbsp water in a bowl, add to the pot and cook while stirring about 3-5 minutes as the soup thickens. Discard the cinnamon and enjoy hot or room temperature. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

*I used only ½ cup sugar. Constant Companion and I decided that ¼ cup will be enough when I make this lovely soup again one hot summer day.

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