As soon as I saw a recipe for homemade hummus posted on I Will Not Eat Oyster’s blog, I knew I had to give it a try. Hummus is one of my all time favourite dips (it’s main rival is guacamole). I knew if I was going to spend the extra time soaking the chickpeas, it was going to be the centrepiece to a very special dish. I wasn’t going to just snack on it with vegetables or sneak a thin layer into a sandwich (which I also did with leftovers), I was determined to make this hummus the star of the show. And it is. A thick layer of creamy, lemony hummus is the base for this entire dish but it’s the combination with everything else on the plate that makes it the ultimate hummus. If you are ever going to make hummus into a meal, this is how you do it. I have been making my way through the leftovers of this for a whole week and am not complaining.
A few months ago, a friend of mine came over to teach me how to cook a few Indian dishes, which we then shared with a bunch of our friends. I wrote about the Baingan Bharta that we made, back in September, but there was one more dish from the evening that I have been meaning to make again ever since. While we were cooking, I was making sure to take some notes so that I would remember the spice and flavour combinations. I wasn’t overly organized, so I scratched it down on a paper bag that I had lying around the kitchen. I have held off throwing out the paper bag for months for this chutney recipe. When she first described a cashew date tomato chutney, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that the sweet, slightly tangy, mildly spiced side dish would actually enhance all of the other ones. With every bite I took of the dal, the baingan bharta, the kofta, I added a bit of the chutney to the spoon and it enhanced every single one of the dishes. I don’t really know why it’s taken me so long to get my act together and re-make it but this was the week, and I was so happy that I could finally recreate it.
One of the best parts of selling at the farmer’s market is trading my bagels for some of the other produce and products that are being sold there. A couple of weeks ago, there was a vendor I hadn’t seen before and he offered to trade some of his salsa for a pack of my bagels. I ended up with the tomato salsa but I couldn’t get his mango salsa out of my head. When I was cutting up my mangoes this morning (I always cut them up and keep them in the bowl in my fridge so they are easy to snack on) I decided I would make some fresh mango salsa instead of leaving them as a plain snack.
I keep buying eggplant and not knowing what to do with it. I feel like I use eggplant all of the time, but I don’t. In my mind it’s like mushrooms in the sense that it is super substantial and often used as a ‘meaty’ substitute in vegetarian cooking (why is that?) but in the end my uses of eggplant are limited to eggplant parmesan, eggplant with pasta, and asian-style eggplant. While I suppose that’s kind of a bunch of options, I was feeling like trying something a little bit different. So, I decided to make some babaganoush, one of the most classic, hearty dips in my books.