From the Garden

Three Heads are Better than One

Today I roasted three heads of garlic and then did things with them.  When I put the garlic in the oven, I also put in whole wheat pita cut into eights, and tossed with olive oil, and salt and pepper. The pita cooked for about ten minutes, the garlic for...45 or thereabouts, at 400º.


I chopped onion, basil, and parsley from the garden for bruschetta. But I had to use canned tomatoes. The trade-off is that it will last a few days in the refrigerator, whereas fresh tomato bruschetta wouldn't really be good after tomorrow. DSC_3883


After the garlic roasted awhile, I squooshed some into the bowl with the tomatoes, and added lemon juice, olive oil, and s&p. And also drained a can of cannellini beans. DSC_3887


I mixed the white beans with the remaining garlic from that head, and added a lot of lemon juice and olive oil, and s&p. There is a pattern here, and it pays off. :-)

The remaining cloves of garlic were deskinned and added to a jar with olive oil. They'll stay good for several weeks in the refrigerator, and then there will be nice garlicky olive oil to use after they're gone.

So then I wanted to share this in a really twee fashion, like you would pin to the page of party foods you'll never get around to making. But my photo isn't very good because of how I didn't do it right. DSC_3890

Anyway, as good as the bean dip and bruschetta are separately, when eaten together, they are fantastic. DSC_3891

You can find recipes here and there, but mostly, it's just something you do as you like. When I make white bean dip I like it really basic but really strong. I probably use twice as much lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic as anyone calls for. And sometimes people add a lot of thing to fancy it up. Personally, I do not care for that. I just take things I like that I tend to always have around, and mix them together for my own taste. That's why I'm sharing these pictures; you should do this, too. Have some pantry play.

Tomorrow I'm cutting up a couple of late eggplants.

birthday treats

The other day I found myself desiring a birthday cake. I wanted it to taste a bit fancy without much effort. Effort is for other people's birthday cakes. So I looked around for ideas and pieced this together from two or three sites. 

I used a Duncan Hines fancy cake mix, and made two 8-inch layers, coated with ganache. I made raspberry-lime sauce for the plate. 

The ganache has 8 oz dark chocolate chunks melted with 6 tbs of butter, 2 tbs Chambord, 2 tbs heavy cream, 2 tbs corn syrup, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  I poured it over the cake layers after they cooled for a few minutes and put them in the refrigerator for about half an hour. 

Then I put a small package of raspberries in the food processor, squeezed in a couple of limes' juice, and some sugar, and then it wasn't enough sugar, so I added more. Maybe 1/4 cup altogether. Next time I'd splash in more Chambord, as well. 

Here's a phone pic of cake slices.

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I also made dinner, which was not a perfect success, but a good trial for another effort sometime. 

This is a Vietnamese farmed fish I probably won't buy again, but it was there, and okay. It's firm and light. 

I made a pistou, processing basil leaves from the garden with garlic and olive oil, then stirring in a handful of shaved Grana Padana, and some pepper. And spread it on the fish. 

They're rolled up with bacon. I baked them at 350º for about half an hour, then broiled them for a couple minutes. 

The phone pic is awful. And you see I didn't trim the green beans, but I was tired of things just then. The salad is made of things from my garden; some lettuce, greens, and early onions, and white balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

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It was all very nice, and the nicest thing of all is that I picked my first tomato. I don't know why it ripened so early, but maybe it was just a birthday gift from the universe, or some such fun notion.