Warm Kale Salad

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Combine and whisk together in a large bowl :

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp prepared mustard, preferably of high quality

1/8-1/4 tsp tamari

1/4 tsp vinegar (sherry, rice wine or black vinegar are best)

Dash of Maggi or Golden Mountain Seasoning (optional)

pinch or so of salt

1/8 tsp sichuan peppercorns (or black peppercorns), freshly ground or crushed

Take :

10-12 oz kale leaves, de-stemmed but not chopped

Place in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes, pushing the kale down and covering the pot with a lid.

Drain kale immediately. Then quickly wrap kale in a thick kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid from the kale as desired. I usually don’t fuss over this too much, just making sure that the larger portion of the water absorbed by the kale has been squeezed out.

Place the kale on a chopping board and roughly or finely chop it depending on your tastes. Toss immediately with the dressing, turn out into a bowl and serve with fork or chopsticks. Garnish with sesame seeds or–even better, a Japanese seaweed-sesame seasoning combo like Nori Komi Furikake.

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This is one of the simplest ways to serve kale, accompanied only by seasonings selected to bring out its’ naturally complex and hearty flavors. This feeds two people as a starter and one person as a hearty lunch, accompanied perhaps by a piece of fruit or hunk of bread.

Kale salad is as ubiquitous as bad driving in the Northeast, too often it is either matched with incongruous ingredients (radish? blueberry?) or just not properly cooked. I find kale best lightly boiled like this (or even steamed if you can muster the energy) ideal for a salad, served either warm or cool. Now, if I was to serve this particular salad cool I would add perhaps a bit more of the liquid ingredients, but warm these proportions are just perfect.

Key – The key to this recipe is to proceed as quickly as possible once draining the kale, as maximum heat in the greens will cause the flavors of the dressing to blend better and come out more.

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Kohlrabi With Apple and Herb Dressing

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Combine :
1 lb. kohlrabi, cut into large dice
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Let sit for 1/2 hour or longer

Combine :
1/2 cup strained or greek-style yogurt (or thick soy yogurt)
2 tbs walnut or olive oil or a mix of the two
1 tbs chopped chives
2 tbs fresh mint, chopped fine
2 tbs fresh italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tbs (or more) garlic, minced
ground white pepper to taste
1 or 2 small chiles, chopped fine
4 oz. firm-fleshed apple, large dice

Toss with kohlrabi and serve.


A lot of people react negatively to kohlrabi. I love it, and eat raw slices of it. But then I eat raw radishes, too, so… for those who don’t care as much for it, this preparation softens its’ intensity with apple and fresh mint. The yogurt should be thick, but even if it is, this can be a somewhat “loose” salad. Keeps well, tastes better on the second day.

Coriander Glazed Carrots

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Take :

8 oz. carrots, sliced into 1/4″-1/2″ rounds (I like to bias cut mine to make them longer, like above)

Add to saucepan of boiling, salted water.

Boil for 3-4 minutes, then drain immediately.

Heat in a wok or sautêe pan over medium-high heat:

2 tbs neutral oil such as sunflower or vegetable

When the oil is quite hot, add :

1 tbs of coriander root paste (see below)

Stir-fry for one minute, then quickly add the boiled carrots.

Stir-fry or toss vigorously for one minute.

Add :

2 tbs sherry or cooking wine

1/2 tsp of sugar

Stir or toss vigorously for one minute or until the alcohol evaporates

Add :

1/2 tsp of freshly toasted and crushed coriander

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the heat and serve immediately or cover and keep warm, garnish with abundant cilantro / fresh coriander. This is best hot, but also good at room temperature.

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Coriander Root Paste :

Combine in a mortar and pestle :

1/2 oz finely chopped coriander roots (roots of one bunch)

few pinches kosher salt

few grinds of black pepper

2 cloves of garlic

Mash to desired consistency. To get a more paste-like consistency, you can add more salt. This should make about two tablespoons. It can be kept for a great while if salt or oil are added. You could of course also make this in a small food chopper / processor.

This is a simple and versatile dish that could accompany many different types of cuisine. It is most definitely for lovers of coriander though! The roots add a sophistication to the flavor that there is no substitute for.

This recipe accounts for about 2 servings as a side dish, but can be easily multiplied.

Key : The key to this recipe is to have everything prepared and move swiftly during the stir-fry stage.

Tomato Sauce with Onion (with apologies to Marcella Hazan)

IMG_8556This is one of the easiest and tastiest tomato sauces you can make. It can be made with fresh tomatoes, but I usually make it in the winter months using high-quality canned tomatoes. This recipe is entirely based on long and slowly evolving use of Marcella Hazan’s “Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion” (see notes at end of recipe).

Gather your tomatoes. If you use fresh tomatoes, use about 2 lbs of a sauce-type tomato and remove the peels by whatever fashion you normally would. If you use canned tomatoes, use 2 cups or so (a regular large 35 oz can) and strain the fruits from the juice. Squeeze or cut each of the tomatoes and push out the juice inside them as well.

ALTERNATIVELY, whether you go fresh or canned, you can pass the tomatoes through the food mill before cooking. I find that the flavor is superior if the fruits are cooked a bit seperately, and while still mostly whole. It can always be pureed later.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, place a small knob of butter (2 tbs or perhaps a bit more) and a splash of olive oil (1-2 tbs). You can put a bit less or a bit more, but if you don’t use at least 3 tbs or so the sauce won’t be as rich. You may of course replace the butter with a substitute or simply use more oil. I have prepared this recipe just with oil. It is good, but not quite the same. A butter substitute appropriate to your diet would be a better replacement to create the proper creaminess.

Add a half an onion or a small whole onion sliced in half. Add as in the picture above, in one large piece, not chopped or sliced. Add a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

You may also wish to add other things at this point, such as a few whole cloves of garlic or bay leaves other whole herbs or celery leaves or chiles sliced in half. Whatever you add, keep it in a large enough chunk to remove with ease. The idea is to bring the flavors out through slow cooking and permeate the sauce with them.

Immediately add the whole, drained tomatoes (whether fresh or canned, separate the juice). Sautée the whole tomatoes along with the butter, oil, onion and additional flavorings, slowly crushing the tomatoes them with a heavy wooden spoon or spatula, breaking them up and stirring while the mixture comes to heat. Cook the tomatoes and the aromatics together for five minutes or longer.

Add the reserved juice from the tomatoes. If you are using pre-prepared tomatoes, simply omit the sautée step.

Bring the saucepan to a slow simmer, bubbling occasionally. Think a classic Sunday Sauce, only on a much smaller (and quicker) scale. The longer you cook this and the lower the heat, the more flavorful it will be. It benefits from sitting overnight as well, but I can never resist it when freshly made. I usually find it takes about 45 minutes to an hour of simmering before the oil rises to the top and the juices have boiled down to a nice thick sauce. This is not a marinara-type consistency but a thick, chunky tomato sauce. It should be rich and creamy and look almost like a vodka sauce.

If the sauce is to be pureed, it can be served with thin spaghetti and the like, but I prefer to keep it somewhat chunky and put it on a thicker cut of box pasta, like the rigatoni below. It is also excellent (a la Hazan) with potato gnocchi, and many stuffed pastas with ingredients such as squash, pumpkins, mushrooms, nuts and bitter greens. You may add cheese or choose not too–I usually find that the sauce is rich enough and enjoy instead a sprinkle of oregano or marjoram. Likewise, I find that served with cheese stuffed pasta the cheese should be sharp and pungent rather than mellow like ricotta or mozarella, or the result will be bland. It’s also excellent served with stuffed vegetables or as a sauce to zest up a simple vegetable dish or bowl of lentils.

This is an extremely basic slow food recipe, but one that I hope you will find useful as well as endlessly variable.

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Further Recipe Credit / History :

This recipe… or procedure, perhaps–isn’t so much adapted as completely stolen from Marcella Hazan. It appeared first in The Classic Italian Cookbook (1976) where it was appealingly titled “Tomato Sauce III.” By the time her first two books were rebound as Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, it had become “Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.”

I had to look all this up not only to make clear my thievery, but because while I have been making this sauce since the late 90’s I don’t ever really actually look at the recipe. Once I had looked at them both I realized that I’d been making it unlike Marcella for many years. She must have made that same realization when she selected recipes for Essentials, the latter version being much lighter on butter and omitting sugar (!) entirely. Her version is made with fresh tomatoes, too, while for an unknown reason at some point long ago I began to make this sauce exclusively in the cooler months and good canned tomatoes.

If there is a cookbook writer to be recommended any more highly than Marcella Hazan, I can’t think of one. Even if you aren’t particularly drawn to Italian food, her description of cooking technique is unsurpassed. Always explained in the same authoritative, thorough and patient tone. Almost everything I make is an experiment, I rarely prepare the same exact dish twice. Many of my (hah!) canonical dishes are ruthlessly tweaked from Marcella’s master tapes.

Winter Root Vegetable Stew with Paprika and Mustard

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This is a hearty, rich main course dish which could be varied endlessly with sides and additions, vegan or not. One could of course serve it with starches such as noodles or potatoes, but I find that it is substantial enough on its’ own. In fact, what I will recommend is a garnish of sharp, very thin raw vegetables and fresh herbs, if possible. Like all proper stews this dish is much better reheated and served on the second day. I roast the beets and then add them to the dish before adding the spices for aesthetic reasons. They change the color of the dish quite dramatically, but in a nicer way then when added in the beginning. One of course could use golden beets or white beets instead and dispense with all this roasting nonsense.

This is a dish in which prep and timing are pretty essential. Have all your ingredients chopped and sized, take your time about the cooking of this and remember to let it cool, sit overnight and then serve the next day. It will be much the better for it.

Roast @ 425° :

12 oz beets, unpeeled, wrapped in foil

The beets are done when they a little bit more firm than you want in your finished dish. Remove them, keeping them wrapped and let them cool naturally.

Heat in a pan (deep enough to accommodate all the ingredients, but wide as possible) over medium heat :

3 tbs oil of choice (I use olive)

Add :

10 oz. onion, large dice

Sautée for 5-10 minutes, until softened.

Add :

2 fresh bay leaves or 4 dried bay leaves or 4 bayberry leaves

Add :

5 oz celery, cut into 1/2″ thick pieces

Sautée for 5 min or so, until softened.

Add :

1 oz of garlic, freshly chopped

Sautée for 3 min or so.

Add :

12 oz carrots, cut into 1/2″ rounds

Sautée for 5-10 min or so.

Add :

12-16 oz celery root, 1/2″ x 1″ pieces

Sautée for 3 min or so.

Deglaze pan with :

2 Tbs. Sherry or Chinese Cooking Wine

Add :

Enough vegetable stock (preferably a rich roasted stock) or other stock or water to cover the vegetables well (1-1.5 quarts), bearing in mind the beets to be added later.

1-2 tsp crushed dried juniper berries

2 tsp dry mustard

2 tsp dried thyme

Grinds of black pepper

Bring the pan to just short of a boil, then cut the heat to a slow, mild simmer. Allow this to cook until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are close to being tender enough to eat. Always bear in mind that the vegetables will cook a bit in their retained heat. If the vegetables seem close to done and the sauce is far too thin for your liking you can add a liaison. Heat some oil and whisk in an equal amount of flour (I usually go about 2 tbs of each), whisk and heat for a minute or two, then add in some of the hot fluid from the stew. Keep adding fluid until you have something that is not yet liquid but no longer paste. Add this back into the stew and it should thicken up nicely.

When you feel like you are close to being ready to cut the heat, stir in the following :

The cooked beets, which by now you will have peeled (very easy once roasted) and cut into the appropriate size (1″2 x 1″ chunks in this case).

1 1/2-2 tbs prepared mustard (whole grain or dijon styles are good)

2-3 tbs of paprika (I usually use a mix : this time it was 1 tbs hot, 2 tsp smoked hot and 1 tsp sweet)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Allow this to cook for another few minutes, then adjust your seasonings as needed.

Serve right away or allow to sit. Reheat the next day and serve with fresh garnishes.

All times used are approximate. I cook by taste and texture. It’s far easier and more accurate than following a clock. In each stage of the sautée, the vegetables should be cooked until they begin to soften. If the pan gets too dry (which shouldn’t happen) you can add some extra sherry or wine, or water if necessary. The stewing process will take from an hour on, depending on how slow your simmer. Allow it to develop on its own, checking and stirring every 10 minutes or so. You will know when it is done.

This recipe can be varied in what vegetables are used, provided they are approached with understanding of how long they take to become tender. Of course it could be garnished or accessorized in dozens of ways. It’s already pretty hearty in itself but if you wanted to serve it with noodles or rice I’m sure it wouldn’t be bad. I prefer to go the other direction, and add something sharp and bright as a garnish, like paper-thin slices of spicy black or daikon radish, fresh snips of chive or field garlic, raw chiles, pickled or preserved vegetables, and of course fresh herbs if available.

I have left the spicing at kind of an entry-level dosage. All of the seasonings can be added again at the end, which is usually when I toss in a little more thyme or juniper or mustard or what have you. The flavor is hearty, and deep. It may remind one of a treatment of beef or pork in terms of the flavorings used, but this is no meat substitution recipe. The combination of thyme, mustard and paprika complements the beet-celery root-carrot trinity. But perhaps you will discover an even more perfect one!

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Key : The key to this recipe is making all the vegetables the same consistency, particularly one that has a bit of texture to it. For some people that solution lies in very precise cutting, for me I’ve always just preferred to add the ingredients one by one and rely on intuition. Some people like to throw in everything at once and cook it long and slow. There’s no right way, just one that works.

Is Foraging Ethical?

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Whether or not foraging is legal varies immensely and is another matter entirely. Certainly, if we think of ourselves as feeling individuals the first question to ask is this one : is it even right?

If I’m no authority in foraging or cooking or gardening than I’m certainly no authority on morality. But I feel everyone who would venture to forage needs to answer this particular question for themselves. In the hopes that it helps people feel comfortable about coming to their own conclusions, I will describe what my answer is, and how I came to it.

There is an old foraging tradition that every writer on the subject usually rolls out. The tradition is one that many of the Native American tribes–the original and greatest North American foragers–utilized when searching for medicinal plants. They would go out in search of a particular plant. When they found the first specimen of the plant they were searching for, they would bury a piece of tobacco beneath it. Then they would meditate on the plant, its’ characteristics and virtues and then go out in search of others.

It is doubtful to me that this applied when the tribes were stocking up on food plants. This is the kind of ritual that only becomes necessary when dealing with the world of the unseen. But in our peculiar situation today as modern foragers, it is one that we would do well to apply to all plants. Especially if one is “finding” a plant for the first time. We can probably dispense with the burial of tobacco at the base of the plant. What we cannot do without is the meditation. This is a clear code : serious study of the plant and its attributes. Attention to the details of its structure and growth. And meditation on the essential “thatness” of the plant in question.

Once one has performed this little ritual and securely identified a plant, then it is time to look around. Is there a community of this plant? Is it large or tiny? Do we now realize that we have seen this plant a million times in a million places? Or is it something uncommon, even rare?

There is no replacement for understanding the size of a community of wild plants before beginning to eliminate them. There is no excuse for not researching a particular plant and finding out its’ viability in your area before culling the herd.

The first thing, though, is to understand the plant. More often than not, a new plant suddenly becomes a familiar friend to me. I remember all the times I saw it and it was just one of “the weeds in the field.” If this doesn’t happen, if you know what something is and don’t immediately know its’ level of abundance in your environment, than it’s time to do more research.

Many of the plants we look for when foraging (and the vast majority of the ones I will be talking about on this site) are abundant, often invasive, sometimes actually serious environmental threats. Many others are often ignored, even by most birds and wildlife. Some others (such as milkweed) represent particular ecological concerns, which must be addressed in very specific ways. A careful study of each plant you care to collect should be made in turn.

The very question of whether or not it is “right” to take things that don’t “belong” to you is one I take seriously. I admit to being made mildly uncomfortable by things like fallen fruit maps and some of the wild food maps. The idea of mapping plant communities I am solidly behind, but it shouldn’t be put forth as “free shit.” Especially when said free shit grows in somebody’s yard. I think I would be pretty damn annoyed if I planted a bunch of citrus trees (which I absolutely would do if I lived in a tropical location) and went out one day to find the ones overhanging the walls crawling with hippies snatching up my pomelos. If they’d only asked I would have shared. That I am solidly behind. Share, ask, talk to your neighbors when you see their apples or chestnuts rotting on their lawn. They might be made glad simply not to have to run over the things with a lawnmower.

But what about the woods? What about the parks? What about the abandoned field down the road? Is it right to take things from there?

This really depends on the nature of the space. No one should be foraging anything from a nature preserve or wildlife preserve. Old abandoned fields? Preserved open spaces? State parks? When it comes to those spaces the rule of abundance applies (as well, of course, as your local and state laws)–understand your ingredient before you harvest it. Find a large community. Make sure it isn’t critical to the local wildlife (this is usually an easier thing to ascertain than it might immediately seem). It goes without saying you wouldn’t be looking for something that was threatened or endangered in your area in the first place.

If you feel you’re not creating a negative impact on the environment, harvest a small amount if its new to you or a reasonable amount if it’s tried and true. There’s never any reason to go overboard. Take only what you know you will use. Take some to experiment with, as long as you will experiment. Make it important.

Assuming you enjoy the particular food in question, your role changes. Now, not only have you become a collector of wild food, you’ve become aware of what that plant or mushroom is doing in the area where you found it. Now you’ve on your way to becoming a minder, a custodian of that plant. If you love nettles, the last thing you’re going to do is let them disappear from your favorite areas. You’re going to encourage them. You’re going to make sure they thrive, so there will always be plenty. Plant lovers have been known to throw the seeds of their favorites in areas where the present populations seem threatened. Mushroom freaks spread spores, naturally.

The “big” question of whether foraging is ethical gradually became unravelled and finally nonsensical the more I studied foraging. The more we appreciate and use the abundance of wild food and medicine around us, the more we become strongly conscious of protecting it. There are surely exceptions, but a fairly widespread ethical streak runs through the heart of the foraging community. That’s really all that can be said–it is ethical if we all keep it that way.

If we really care for this world and these things that we make our food with, we can hardly do otherwise.

Sweet Hot Pickled Carrots

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This recipe is so simple I will dispense with the usual list of ingredients and instructions and just describe the process. Just be sure to read it all the way through. We’re not children here.

What you need for this is a quart-sized mason jar stuffed all the way full with shredded carrots (preferably on the smallest blade set of a mandolin) and a jalapeño sliced or cut into matchsticks. Usually this entails about 12 oz of carrots, with maybe 1/4 of that going to waste on nubs too small to pass through the mandolin. You can also simply grate them, although the texture will be vastly inferior. You could also practice your knife skills on them and cut long julienne by hand but I am not responsible for any bodily harm.

Once you have this mason jar stuffed full of carrots, place a canning funnel in it. If you don’t have a canning funnel, go buy one. Then place a small saucepan on the stove and in it heat 2 cups of seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup of sugar, and dried, crushed hot red chiles to taste. I use the very hot chinese red chiles and usually grind two of them fresh in a mortar and pestle. Bring this mess up to something close to a boil, enough to dissolve the sugar. Stir it thoroughly.

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Being intelligent about the whole process and using how ever many towels you need, bring the still quite hot mixture in the saucepan over to the quart-sized mason jar stuffed full of carrots and pour the mixture in. It should come to about the point at which the “shoulders” of the jar begin.

Allow this to sit and cool without capping it. Theoretically you could sterilize both the jar and the cap in this procedure. My experience has been that these things just don’t last long enough around willing eaters to warrant that. Once the jar and its contents are cool, cap the jar and refrigerate. The pickle will be ready in a handful of hours (although of course 24 is best), and it is best served chilled.

This is one of the staples of my kitchen, and has proved quite popular with those I make food for. Especially me! These were styled on the Vietnamese do chua and primarily made for banh mi, alongside a spiced daikon pickle that I also make. So it goes without saying that they are a good sandwich topping. They also are great in composed salads and on tossed salads, added to noodle bowls, noodle soups, regular soups, as garnishes, in omelettes, etc. etc. etc. A real kitchen standby, and one that can be a vehicle for your own style and creativity. Tell me what you make with them!

Winter Broth with Foraged Herbs

IMG_8172Take :

2 cups broth of your choice (this is a drinkable broth, so the stronger the better, and homemade of course)

Bring to heat in a small saucepan, then keep warm.

Add :

1/2 cup of mixed dried yarrow, wild basil, and sweetfern (roughly equal amounts)

pinch of dried mugwort leaves, crumbled

hefty pinch or two of dried mint of any kind, crumbled

Keep warm for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice. The point at which to take the next step is ideally when the dried herbs have all settled to the bottom of the saucepan.

Strain the broth from the herbs and serve.

Obviously this could be embellished in a million ways. The broth itself can be varied endlessly, depending on what you have in your pantry. It’s best made from a broth that’s deep and flavorful that you just made, perhaps even with something as basic as leftover vegetable scraps or chicken bones. The herbs can be from your garden or the store or the wilds, as long as they are dried this will make a nice flavorful broth from these proportions. I would also recommend not using more than one very bitter herb and not more than one very sweet herb. You want to use the more “culinary” herbs whether wild or domestic.

This could be used as the base of a soup, or served as I sometimes do simply with thick noodles and whatever condiments suit you. Primarily, though, this is a warm nourishing broth somewhere between a tea and a soup. Strong, complex and slightly bitter. While not explicitly medicinal it contains quite a few medicinal herbs. I’m not making any claims it’ll heal you, but it feel good.

How to Cook a Weed

2014-08-19_1408488617How to Cook a Weed takes its’ title from one of the greatest and most strange of American food books, the 1942 volume How to Cook a Wolf, written by the inimitable MFK Fisher. Released during the era of wartime rationing, it contains innumerable recipes, philosophies and approaches to living not only well but elegantly while stretching budgets and pinching pennies. The heart of this work touches something that has always been close to me : making the best of limited resources.

I won’t spend much more time singing the praises of Fisher and her masterpiece (believe me, there will be enough and plenty to come), but rather extrapolate on why that volume relates to our work here.

On the surface, this site is about foraging and using wild plants, herbs, mushrooms and medicines in the pursuit of a thrifty, healthy, green lifestyle without forsaking elegance or the pleasures of the table. This is the world of cucina povera–the cooking of the poor and the working classes. The best, most heart and soul-warming cooking there is. It is about making the most of what we have, and maybe realizing that we had more than we thought. There will be more attention paid here to the multiple uses and benefits of plants and mushrooms, and responsible and delicious ways to use and grow them, than botany lessons or identification guides. There will always be some identification content but this site is not intended to cover that well-trodden ground. Many have already done it much better than I ever could.

On a deeper level, this site is about re-examining our use of the food resources we already have, and understanding our responsibility should we choose to use the additional wild produce provided by our environment. Our culture is one of waste and gross negligence. I won’t be spending much time harping about that, again, other people have done it much better. What we are interested in here is solutions, ways in which we can rethink our environment from the woods we take a hike in to the yards and gardens of our own houses.

We have fought against the wildlings. We pay people to spray them with chemicals or pull them from the ground. Some of them might not be so bad. Some of them might even be a whole lot better than the denatured spinach in a plastic bag you plunk down your hard-earned cash for.

It’s time to let the wildlings in.

It’s time we learned how to cook a weed.

Roasted Eggplant With Preserved Lemon

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Take :

2 large unpeeled Italian eggplants (about 2 lbs), sliced in half, stem end trimmed.

Rub eggplants with olive oil and place in a large roasting pan, large enough that the halves do not touch.

Roast @ 425° for 15 minutes, then remove. Puncture each piece with a fork or knife.

Allow to cool.

Seperate the skin from the cooked pulp of the eggplant, reserve the skin for another use.

Mash the eggplant pulp to desired consistency, or puree if need be.

Add :

1/4-1/2 cup of preserved lemon, preferably homemade

*I would add 1/4 cup, combine, taste, and then add more as desired.

1 tsp or more of cumin, preferably freshly toasted and ground.

Salt to taste.

Allow to sit overnight.

Before serving, allow to come to room temperature.

Then add extra olive oil, if desired.

Before serving, garnish with :

Pinches of dried ground sumac or paprika.

Excellent served as part of many meze or appetizer dishes. Perfect with flatbreads of all kinds, but also makes an excellent dip for raw vegetables such as celery, carrot and parsnip. One could of course add many other ingredients to this before overwhelming the taste of the eggplant and preserved lemon. In addition to other spices or herbs, yogurt could be added, especially if one is looking for a creamier dish. I prefer to leave this one chunky, and scoop up big swathes of it in celery boats. Ah, to each their own.

KEY : The key fact to remember with this dish it so serve it at room temperature.