Monday, August 9, 2010

Eggplant Penne Blossom Bowl

I've always wanted to cook with squash blossoms. If you've ever had the blossoms at Pure Food and Wine, then you know how interesting they can be eaten raw.

I never see them for sale and never know where to look.

When I came across two packets hidden in with the herbs at the Farmer's Market, I had to snatch them up. I had no idea how to prepare them and did a little research. I decided to fry them, a cooking method I reserve only for the rarest of things.

Now this recipe might seem like a good deal of multi-tasking and well, it is. Pay attention.

Eggplant Penne Blossom Bowl
4 oz whole wheat penne

For alfredo sauce:

1 1/2 cups soymilk
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced

For eggplant:

2 baby eggplants, any color
olive oil
sea salt

First, prep the eggplant. Slice lengthwise into thin strips and lay flat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with seat salt. Let sit for an hour. Pat eggplant dry with towel and wipe off a good amount of the salt.

Prepare sauce by sauteing garlic in a sauce pan. Add milk, water, nutritional yeast, flour, and spices and whisk until clumps are gone. Let simmer over low heat while you prepare the pasta and grilled eggplant

Use oiled grill pan and tongs to cook eggplant 3 minutes on each side, aiming for nice grill marks. Chop grilled eggplant into pasta-friendly bites.

Next, bring water to a boil and cook pasta accordingly. Assemble pasta with sauce and eggplant. Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast if you like.

Fried Squash Blossoms

8 squash blossoms
1/4 cup cashew cheese
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp flaxmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
salt, pepper
canola oil

Carefully remove the pistons from each flower. Insert cashew cheese into each blossom and fold it a little. Whisk flour, flax, baking powder, water, and salt and pepper to make batter. Dip blossoms into batter. You can prep these ahead of time and fry when you are ready. Fill a pan with 1/4 cup of oil or so. When sizzling, place blossoms in oil and let fry on each side fo 2-3 minutes.

Top your pasta with the piping hot, crispy blossoms and garnish with chopped herbs. The cashew cheese will be gooey and your sauce will be a nice thin coat of garlicky dressing.

Serves 2.


J. Phillips said...

This was good. Darned good.

hellopa said...

This looks good. Darn good.