poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


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The Sandwich of Summer Goodness

I wouldn’t describe myself as a “sandwich person” per se, but once in a blue moon, I’ll have a sandwich that *almost* converts me. (Sorry bread, but noodles will always be my #1 carb of choice.) Last night was one of those experiences — TC found a recipe for Grilled Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches from our CSA’s website. We decided to give it a try, even though we didn’t have a grill. As it turns out, you can also broil eggplant and peppers — hot AND fast!

Sandwich phase I: pre-assembly

Sandwich phase I: pre-assembly. Eggplant, heirloom tomato, basil, and garlic from Full Belly Farms.

This recipe did not disappoint! Both TC and I were blown away by how delicious this combination was. On top of the basic recipe, we added coarsely chopped basil (since that was also in our CSA box) and fresh mozzarella. Another key ingredient: good bread. We chose an Acme ciabatta, which was perfect. One happy coincidence was an open bottle of Yellowtail Shiraz, which paired really well with the sandwich.

Sandwich phase II: post-assembly. (Sandwich phase III: consumption not shown.)

Sandwich phase II: post-assembly. (Sandwich phase III: consumption not shown.)

Not only does this sandwich include the best of summer produce, but it’s also quick and easy — the last thing you want to be doing during the summer is slaving away over the stove, am I right? Anyway, enough talking – here’s the recipe.

Grilled Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches
(adapted from Full Belly Farms)

servings: 4
Ingredients
1 eggplant cut into 1/4-inch slices – This will work fine with any type of eggplant.
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 peppers, roasted or grilled and sliced
1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
8 1/2-inch-thick slices of your favorite sandwich bread

Optional:
- Aioli or mayonnaise to spread on the bread
- fresh mozzarella, sliced
- basil, coarsely chopped

Instructions

1. Preheat the grill or broiler. Brush the olive oil lightly over both sides of the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Grill or broil the eggplant until tender, 3 or 4 minutes per side. Place in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and half of the minced garlic.

2. Cut the tops off the peppers, slice in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Grill or broil the peppers until tender (about 9 minutes in broiler) and then toss them in a bowl with the remaining vinegar, garlic, and basil (if using).

3. Grill, broil or toast the bread. If you are using aioli or mayonnaise spread it on the bread and then assemble the sandwiches with layers of eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and mozzarella (if using).

 

 


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Adventures in Yosemite

Originally posted on Running Tangents:

I feel like I’ve been living in a Northern California Tourism Bureau commercial for the past couple of months, with the low-tide hike in Point Reyes, backpacking in the Ventana Wilderness, and running through the streets of San Francisco. This past Thursday to Sunday, we camped in Tuolumne Meadows, the easternmost part of Yosemite National Park, and it was GORGEOUS. Even though this was my one recovery week between SF2HM and Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) training cycles, I chose to spend it hiking almost 20 challenging miles and sleeping in near-freezing temperatures. As the kids say, YOLO.

Here are some of the highlights from the trip:

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On our hike to Elizabeth Lake, we came upon this lovely scene. Isn’t it the very definition of picturesque?

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Elizabeth Lake, with Unicorn Peak (right).

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We hiked 7.5+ miles up to Clouds Rest, and we were rewarded with this view…

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Back on the CSA Wagon!

When we moved in October, we put the CSA on hold for what we thought would be a short hiatus… which turned into a 5 month break from locally grown veggie boxes. I’ve got a litany of excuses, but mostly we were just lazy. Actually, one decent excuse we had was that we spent a bit of time looking around at other CSAs. As much as we loved Eatwell’s practices and farm events, we weren’t always 100% happy with what we got in terms of variety and quality. So, after much searching, we decided on Full Belly Farm. One thing that convinced me to go with them is a quick survey of their farm using Google satellite maps. (Don’t you just love technology??) Much like Eatwell, you can actually SEE the diversity of the Full Belly Farm just by the variety of colors and different width rows of vegetation. Also, we’ve heard lots of good things about Full Belly’s produce. Finally, the price is right! We are paying only $16 a box with Full Belly, compared to Eatwell’s $27. We get a bit less food as well, but that’s not always a bad thing, especially in the winter when we used to get bags and bags of greens. Don’t get me wrong — I love greens, just not 2-3 servings per meal.

We’ve gotten 3 boxes from Full Belly so far, and we’ve been quite happy with the produce. Our boxes have included navel oranges, butternut squash, leeks, beets, kale, lettuce, the cutest little cabbages I’ve ever seen, broccoli, fennel, celery root, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, arugula, and even popcorn! Full Belly also sells walnuts at a very reasonable price, so we’ll probably be adding those to our next box.

Without further ado, here are the pictures from the last 4 weeks of CSA goodness!

Our first CSA box from Full Belly Farms!

Our first CSA box from Full Belly Farms!

potato and leek soup

Rustic potato and leek soup from The New Best Recipes cookbook. We added bacon = YUM.

Butternut squash veggie soup.

Butternut squash veggie soup. It was a bit bland at first, but I doctored it up with some spices and it got better. TC, the lactose tolerant, added cream, which he thought was really good.

Cabbage and chickpea soup from the Post Punk Kitchen. Really nice.

Cabbage and chickpea soup from the Post Punk Kitchen. Really nice.

Roasted squash (also from the PPK) with a side of cous cous.

Roasted squash (also from the PPK) with a side of cous cous.

Spicy cole slaw from the Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook. Awesome stuff!

Spicy cole slaw from the Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook. Awesome and really quick and easy!

We added the spicy slaw to cod filets and buns from Trader Joe's. We loved these sandwiches so much we made then twice in 2 weeks!

We added the spicy slaw to cod filets and half -baked buns from Trader Joe’s. We loved these sandwiches so much we made then twice in 2 weeks!

 

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