Posted (Lori) in News

Some quick, too-hot-to-cook recipes, including microwave recipes for eggplant. The baba ganoush recipesuggests peeling and cubing the eggplant before microwaving it. When it’s too hot to roast eggplant in the microwave, I just put it on a plate, prick it a few times and nuke it for about 5-10 minutes. I start with five, and if it has not collapsed by then, I keep going for two minutes at a time until it is fully soft. I once started with ten minutes, and it exploded;  it wasn’t pretty and I think there is still eggplant pulp in the cracks of my microwave. Microwaved eggplant is not as good as roasted—it doesn’t have as much rich, smoky flavor—but it’s acceptable with the right spices and enough tahini sauce. And the kitchen stays cool.

Celery Salad

From Lee’at:

There’s a celery salad I like to make that’s super easy:

Slice stalks of celery thinly and chop and use the leaves too. Mix together about equal parts of olive oil and lemon juice. Add in mustard (the condiment, not seeds or powder), salt, and pepper. Pour over celery and toss. (I will admit that I usually don’t even mix the dressing ingredients together first – just pour them over the celery and toss. One less dirty dish that way). :)

Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic, and Parmesan Recipe

From Simplyrecipes.com; adapted from Bon Appetit

1 pound trimmed green beans, cut to 2 to 3 inch long pieces


1/4 cup finely chopped red onion (or scallions)

1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Place the chopped onions in a small bowl of water. This will help take the edge off the onions. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (2 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the green beans to the water and blanch only for about 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp. Fresh young beans should cook quickly. Older, tougher beans may take longer. While the beans are cooking, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the beans are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and the red onions.

3 Place the green beans, red onion, and chopped basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle in the balsamic and Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chill until ready to serve.

Runner Beans With Swiss Chard Stems And Basil

Reason alone to save your chard stems, though thinly sliced fennel can also be used. Whole runner beans are completely edible; swap in flat beans or Romano types, or any other snap bean you like.


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 oz. fresh runner beans, trimmed—or string beans

1 cup thinly sliced Swiss chard stems (from about 1 large bunch)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. green beans, trimmed, half halved lengthwise

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add runner beans and Swiss chard stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer runner bean mixture to a large bowl and toss with green beans, basil, vinegar, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.

Slice stalks of celery thinly and chop and use the leaves too. Mix together about equal parts of olive oil and lemon juice. Add in mustard (the condiment, not seeds or powder), salt, and pepper. Pour over celery and toss. (I will admit that I usually don’t even mix the dressing ingredients together first – just pour them over the celery and toss. One less dirty dish that way). :)


1/4 c. butter

1 sm. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. salt

1 (8 oz.) can or jar spaghetti sauce with mushrooms


1 c. Mozzarella cheese, grated

Use 12 inch round platter with wax paper. Place butter on platter. Microwave on high 1-2 minutes until butter melts. Dip eggplant in butter, then into crumbs and salt, coating evenly. Return to platter, cover microwave on high 8-10 minutes, turning platter once. Spread sauce on eggplant, sprinkle with oregano and cheese. Cover microwave on “8″ for 3 minutes. Can be served as main dish.

Baba Ghanouj ( Microwave Recipe)

by Tarla Dalal

1/3 cup sesame (til) paste (tahini)

1/3 cup peeled and chopped brinjals (baingan / eggplant)

1/3 cup curds (dahi) (or substitute shredded mozzarella or mild cheddar)

1/4 tsp chopped garlic (lehsun)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped mint leaves (phudina)—or try it with cinnamon basil

1/4 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

For The Garnish

1 tbsp sliced olives

3 to 4 mint sprigs (or basil)

In a greased microwave safe dish place the brinjal and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cool, mash to a pulp and keep aside.

Combine all the other ingredients together in another bowl and mix well.

Lightly fold in the brinjal pulp. Refrigerate till chilled.

Garnish with olives and mint springs and serve with pita bread or cream cracker biscuits.


Carolyn offered these two tantalizing jams. Probably not for 90 degree weather, but nice to think about. Carolyn writes, “Both of these recipes are simple and use few ingredients. As you might imagine, I’m a big fan of recipes from Real Simple magazine and Mark Bittman. Last night for a light dinner we had pattypan squash braised in EVOO with red onions and hot peppers (all from the farm, peppers frozen last season) mixed with barley and topped with Romano cheese — light and delicious. I’ve used the search-for-ingredients-with-the-word-”recipe” method for many years but also rely on my 7 years of 4-H, high school home economics, my mother and grandmother, and over 60 years of my own cooking experiences.

Red Currant Jam


You can adapt this recipe to any quantities of red currants that you have on hand. For 11 pounds (5 kilos) of red currants, we used 11 pounds (5 kilos) of sugar, and got twenty-two (12 ounce, 370g) jars of jam. Because black currants are much stronger, if you have those, I suggest finding a recipe specifically written for black currants.

When I make jam, I use slightly less sugar and often reduce the amount by 10 to 20%, and add a small shot of kirsch at the end of cooking, not enough to taste it, but to augment the berry flavor.

Red currants


Optional: a shot of kirsch

1. Rinse the red currants and put them in a large pot. Add enough water just so that it covers the bottom of the pot.

2. Cook the red currants, stirring frequently, until they’re soft and wilted. Once cooked, pass them through a food mill, discarding the stems and seeds left behind.

3. Weight the puree. For each pound (kilo), add the equivalent amount of sugar to the pot.

4. Mix the puree and the sugar in the pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.

5. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, let it boil for five minutes undisturbed.

6. After five minutes, turn off the heat and skim off any scum. (My frugal co-workers in the kitchen save it and insist it’s delicious on plain yogurt.) If desired, stir in a few drops of kirsch.

7. Ladle the jam into clean jars up to the top and screw on the lids firmly. Turn the jars upside down and let cool completely.


-For testing if the finished jam is jelled, you could use the nudge test: putting a small amount on a chilled plate, and rechilling it for a few minutes; if it wrinkles when nudged, it’s ready. However following the cook who made this jam, she let it boil for five minutes and it indeed set nicely after cooling in the jars.

-I store jam in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to one year. This method of overturning the jars forms an airtight seal but if you wish to can them using a boiling water method, I’ve listed some links below.

Beet Rhubarb Jam, by threeovens

This jam doesn’t use any pectins or gelatins, just rhubarb, sugar, beets, and plain old water. It comes out a deep red with an earthy quality from the beets and a hint of tartness from the rhubarb. Pair it with goat cheese and walnuts.

NOTE FROM LORI: I’m not recommending any canning techniques—I’m pasting in the ones from this recipe, but you’re on your own. I do a lot of canning and I’ve never had a problem, but it can be dangerous if not done properly.

YIELD 2 3/4 8 oz jars

8 ?cups rhubarb, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices (3 lbs or about 15 stalks)

2 1?2?cups sugar (more or less to taste)

9 ?cups beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (about 3 lbs or 8 or 9 medium)

3 ?cups water

In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb with 1 cup of sugar.

Mix well and let sit for about 30 minutes until some juice forms in the bottom of the bowl.

In the meantime, cook the beets with the remaining sugar and water in a medium pot over medium high until tender, about 45 minutes; stir occasionally.

Add rhubarb mixture including juices and stir.

Cook, while stirring, 18 to 20 minutes until rhubarb are very soft.

Process the beets through a potato ricer or large strainer and return to the pot.

Taste for sweetness and add sugar, if needed; cook a few minutes to dissolve any added sugar (the jam’s flavor will mellow as it cools).

While jam is still hot, ladle into hot sterilzed canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space at the top; remove air pockets by running a long, non-metallic utensil or skewer between the jar and the jam.

Top with new, clean lids, close tightly and let cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, test the seal; if the lid springs up when you press your finger into the center – it is not sealed.

Process any that have not sealed for 15 minutes in a hot water bath, then test the seal again.

NOTE: To sterilize jars, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat until barely bubbling. Immerse three 8 ounce jars and leave there while you are cooking the jam. Place lids and rings in a small saucepan covered with hot water.

Post a comment