Video Attempt: Bon Appétempt Goes to Palm Springs

The director of this video cut the clips of me raving about this food, so just to be clear: this meal was delicious. I want to eat it all summer long. And the agua de Jamaica? Superb. I need to start buying dried hibiscus flowers in bulk.

In other news, I'm teaching a couple of classes again, including a food-writing seminar for which I promise to make some sort of delicious snack. Check it out here and sign up! Thanks.

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini adapted from Plenty
Serves 2-4

2 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 garlic clove crushed
nice handful of parsley, chopped
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (optional)
a little olive oil to finish
flatbread or baguette, to serve

To burn your eggplants: on a gas stovetop, line the area around the burners with foil to protect them. Put the eggplants directly on top of the grates on two moderate flames and roast for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently with metal tongs, until the flesh is soft, smoky and shrunken in, and the skin is burnt all over. Keep an eye on them the whole time so they don't catch fire.

When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a colander, avoiding the blackened skin. Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes.

Chop the eggplant flesh roughly and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and some salt and pepper; mix well with a whisk. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more garlic, lemon juice if needed. If you want to add tomatoes, go ahead!

Serve with warm flatbread or toasted and drizzled-in-olive-oil slices of baguette.

Shirazi Salad* slightly adapted from Saveur
*At the Middle Eastern restaurant where I worked, they called this the Lebanese Salata, but according to my Internet-based research, Shirazi seems to be the much more prevalent name.

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A nice handful or two of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I love parsley, so I use a lot.)
5 Persian cucumbers, cut into small cubes
2 tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Whisk together the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Taste it to make sure the citrus really shines. If it doesn't, add more lemon juice. Add the parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions and toss to combine. Serve at room temp.

Agua de Jamaica slightly adapted from Paletas
makes 6 cups

1 1/2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
6 cups water
1/2 cup sugar (This makes for a very subtly-sweetened drink, so if you like your drinks a bit sweeter, I'd probably use 3/4 cup.)

Rinse the flowers in cold water and drain thoroughly. Put them in a saucepan, cover with the water, and let steep for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in  the sugar and stir until it's dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate until chilled and taste, adding more water if you think it's too strong. Or, you could just serve over a bunch of ice and let it mellow a bit that way. 


Matthew said...

This was sooooo good. I need another Palm Springs weekend.

tunie said...

Wow, those kitchen cabinets are Gorgeous! Btw, that hibiscus (jamaica) is really easy to grow. It's a small shrub or you can just keep it pruned to whatever size you like. It's called a roselle in plant catalogs, but you could prob find it at a farmers market plant stall. One of my favorite summer drinks! The other is roasted barley tea - so refreshing in a totally different way.

Sara said...

Happy anniversary and happy birthdays!

Girl, you captured my heart with calling it Shirazi Salad. There's some surprisingly fierce politics around the naming of that little salad. You can also make it without the parsley and with lime instead of lemon in the dressing. That eggplant thing looks great.

(btw watching this from Paris...bonjour!!!!)

Amelia Morris said...

Ohh, that's a good idea. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

It looks so great. Perfect for hot weather. What herbs do you sprinkle on the feta you have on the side?

Stephanie said...

What a lovely and simple summer meal. Sometimes, I just make things too complicated when it comes to dinnertime and you have reminded me to just chill out in the summer -- thank you!

P.S. I have to ask: was it very difficult to clean up the charred eggplant drippings on the stove?

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Stephanie! Good question. To be honest, Matt cleaned it up! But from my vantage, it didn't look TOO difficult. Matt, care to weigh in?

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Anon! It's sumac... a dried cherry spice, I believe? I bought it for another recipe from Plenty, but find it a nice addition to greek yogurt or feta.

penelope said...

This all looks delicious!! Where did you find your dried hibiscus flowers?

Sophie said...

Yammmmy and healthy...fresh recipes fits with my nutrition, thanks for sharing and waiting for more ideas.

Mary Anne said...

I'm not even gonna tell you what I just had for dinner. It's too embarrassing. I wish I had all this! Yammmmmy!

Unknown said...

It all looks so good. I will definitely make that salad. Will be great during this heat wave! Marsha and Mark