Sunday, October 26, 2008

D I W A L I G R E E T I N G S ..............

Wishing all the readers of As Dear As Salt a very Happy and Joyous Diwali...........
Here are a few snacks/dishes that you may like to try this festive season......

Dates and Pistachio Poli

Ragada Patties

Badam no Seero

Sweet Potato Paratha

Matthi Puri

See you all after a short break!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Glimpses of St. Helena's farmers Market, Napa AND Zuke-A-mole

He is the King and he did it again!

Heartiest Congratulations to Roger Federer who took home the US Open trophy for the 5th consecutive time! What a beauty and pure joy it is to watch him play. The best player ever to play the game of tennis, IMO. Always a class act and ever so generous with all these great achievements, the sign of a true champion!!

Coming back to today's post, here are some pictures from my recent trip to Napa Valley, food related of course ;) I managed to convince all in my group to spare some time and go visit the popular St. Helena's farmers market out there. It was a beautiful bright day and we did pick up quite a few things from there. From the lovely produce of fresh fruits and vegetables, to various flavored honeys, to all kinds of pesto's possible, to handmade scarves, to fine crafted soaps, to indoor plants, they seemed to have it all! I happened to leave some pesto and jalapeno relish jars in my handbag and had to leave it at the airport :( Anyway, I'm very happy with my other purchases from there including the mega white peaches ;)

Let me leave you with the recipe of Zuke-A-mole, a smart twist to the ever popular guacamole using Zucchini which I've adapted from here. Made it a few times and it is one tasty dip! I've tried it with bread, idli's and makes a good accompaniment to desi meals as well.


3 Zucchini
1 sweet onion chopped
2-3 green chili, as per taste
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves or basil leaves (can make without it as well)
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp oil
2tbsp lemon juice, as per taste

1. Heat oil. Add onion, green chili and garlic, saute 2 minutes.

2. Add chopped zucchini and cook till done.

3. Add salt & pepper, coriander leaves, mint leaves and switch off the gas. Add lemon juice. Cool and blend smooth.

4. Enjoy this tasty dip as you would any other dip. The original recipe asks for roasting of zucchini and onion in an oven for 90mins, that will definitely bring about an intense flavor, but is quite time consuming for me! I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the ever favorite guacamole.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grilled Vegetable (Eggplant, Zucchini & Onion) Panini with Pesto - GYO 2008

Sandwiches in any form, grilled or otherwise, make for such tasty complete meals when paired with the right sides. I think I can have them everyday, albeit with slight variations. But, there was this one time a while back, when due to circumstances beyond my control, I ended up having grilled cheese sandwich for 12 straight days for all the meals! Though the vendor took pity on me and threw in a tomato slice once in a while, I was off sandwiches of any kind for a long time. I think it would have been OK If I had some variables in there, but to have the exact same thing day in day out was not too exciting to say the least!

Having harvested a few eggplants, fresh from my kitchen garden, I was thinking of ways to use it without drowning it in spices of any kind. Eggplant & Zucchini Panini is what I grilled that day!
Eggplant, Onion & Zucchini Panini (Grilled Veg Panini)

2 eggplants, thick sliced
2 Zucchini, thick sliced
1 onion, thick sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 bread slices, I use my favorite Jewish Rye Bread from the local bakery
1/2 cup pesto (you can use any kind, store bought is fine too, I used walnut-coriander pesto)
salt & pepper
thick sliced Mozzarella cheese
Olive oil for grilling the veg
Butter/Oil for grilling the Panini
1. Grill the vegetables till done.
This step can be done in an oven by layering the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil & chopped garlic at 400C OR
directly on the grill, use your preferred method of roasting the vegetables.
2. Now, it is time to get the Panini assembly line ready. Line up 4 slices of bread on your work area and slather pesto on them. Arrange roasted vegetables on top. Sprinkle salt & pepper. Arrange mozzarella slices and cover with the remaining slices of bread and grill till done. Use butter on the outside of bread for a great flavor.
The grill marks make for a pretty presentation. This can be done quickly in a Panini maker, but not having one does not stop you from making a Panini anytime. Just press down the bread with a heavy saucepan and you have yourself an make-do arrangement.
3. Enjoy the grilled veg panini with chips and a chilled smoothie ;) As you can see, this is more of a method rather than a recipe, lots of variations are possible here. Can be made without pesto, just slather some butter and lots of salt & pepper. Use whatever vegetables you have at hand.

This gorgeous panini with fresh eggplant from my beautiful garden makes it's way to GYO - 2008 guest hosted by Bee.
This fits right in with AWED-Italian hosted by DK.
I also want to send this to dear Sig for her MM-Grill it.
How can I resist sending this to Sia for WBB-Summer Feast.
that's it I guess ;)