Eggplant is something people have strong opinions about. I happen to love its hearty texture and delicate flavor, but I prefer it when baked instead of fried, because eggplant likes to soak things up, and frying can cause it to soak up too much oil. For this Mediterranean-inspired eggplant chickpea bake, we are going to broil the eggplant instead of frying it. Then we layer it with yummy things like tomato sauce with oregano, tangy feta, and hearty chickpeas, and we bake it. While baking, the eggplant will soak up beautiful, sunny Mediterranean flavors from the sauce, rather than oil from frying. I call that winning at eggplant! Continue reading
Here is a super-easy and refreshing summer salad with chickpeas, cucumber, and mint, as well as crisp hearts of palm, complimented by a smoky tahini dressing. Don’t hearts of palm automatically make everything more elegant? Also, I happen to agree with Mark Bittman of the New York Times that smoked paprika improves almost every savory dish. It really brings out the natural smokiness of the tahini (which is kind of like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts). If you don’t have any smoked paprika, though, just leave it out. But seriously, go buy some for next time, try it in a variety of savory dishes while you’re at it, and thank me later. A few years ago you had to special order it, but now it’s fairly readily available in supermarkets. Continue reading
Smoked paprika, olives, pine nuts and golden raisins combine with garlic seared chickpeas and capers as well as fresh spinach and chewy farro to make an unforgettable Spanish-influenced hearty salad. This dish is vegan, but my best taste-tester husband actually thought (hoped?) there might be bacon in it due to the smoky flavors. Nope. Just a bunch of veg and nuts! Interesting how one can make things taste kinda bacon-y without actual bacon, isn’t it? Must investigate further.