How to make eggplant taste good

TL;DR: Add a delicious sauce and roast the heck out of it.

Eggplant haters of the world, this one’s for you. I know you’re out there because a) I’m one of you and b) there are countless articles on the internet explaining why eggplant is the worst with recipes dedicated to all the people who hate it. But, despite the drama surrounding eggplant and its gross, bland, bitterness, it is possible to make this vegetable taste good. (Fact check: eggplant is technically a berry -*eye roll*.) All you need is some umami-loaded oyster sauce, a little sesame oil, and a generous drizzle of sambal oelek. And while we’re at it, you might as well throw in some broccoli, red onions, and fluffy jasmine rice to make it a Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Bowl. Trust me, you will be hungry enough for a meal once you get a whiff of this eggplant business roasting in the oven.

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Giant Dinner Salad

Giant Dinner Salads: if you know, you know. When the mood strikes, they can be your one-way ticket to total satisfaction, in a leafy-green kind of way. (Looking at you Charred Corn Salad and Steak and Apple Salad😘.) If you’re familiar with this blog at all though, you’re aware there will be more than just greens in this salad bowl. In my on-going saga of “more is always more”, we’re adding farro, cheese (Parmesan is good but manchego is great), smoked almonds, sliced pears, and dried cranberries to this towering pile of good-for-you greens. Also, this Giant Dinner Salad features thinly sliced chicken breast. But, you are welcome to leave that out for a meat-free situation and things will still be delicious.

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Sweet Potato Collard Green Fritters

I want to say I pulled this recipe out today because I was just trying to use up some last bits of veg in my house. But, the truth is, I have a long-standing, undying love for vegetable fritters. Sometimes, a fizzy batter and a shallow fry in a skillet is the best treatment you can give a vegetable. That’s the case today with these sweet potatoes and collard greens.

Batter for Sweet Potato Collard Green Fritters on a wire rack with lemon wedges
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Pasta with Fresh Tomato Butter Sauce

In honor of this very delicious tomato season, here is another fresh tomato recipe! This one comes in the form of a light, buttery sauce coating thin spaghetti, garnished with bunches and bunches of fresh basil, and a little grated Parm (if that’s your style). Ya’ll. It’s so good and perfect and easy. I made it for lunch the other day and I’m not usually someone who drags out a pan and lights up the stove for lunch. But these fresh, juicy tomatoes were calling my name.

chopped tomatoes in a bowl
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Fresh Tomato Basil Tart

The sun and the rain and the air have been really good to us on the OBX this summer and we have tomatoes for days. And basil is growing like a weed! I am reluctant to cook fresh garden tomatoes too much. Considering how sweet and juicy they are, it feels like a vegetable crime. But sometimes, an idea comes along that’s too good to resist and splaying these fresh tomatoes out all over a buttery, flaky tart dough showered with tons of fresh basil seemed like the best possible move. It’s like summertime on a plate. If the tomatoes in my tart picture look too round and uniform to have been homegrown by me, you are correct. I bought these from the farmer’s market because mine weren’t ripe enough yet. But, a week or so later, I proudly swung in from the garden with these beauties! Some of whom are definitely destined for another Fresh Tomato Basil Tart. Or, maybe this buttery tomato pasta? TBD.

fresh tomatoes on a kitchen towel
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Mushrooms and Kale with Breadcrumbs

So exited to bring you this super elegant but also super effortless veggie recipe today! It’s sort of a means to an end, really. Spoiler alert, the end is pizza with this mushroom/kale combo on top! And a white pizza sauce with an obscene amount of garlic. But you’ll have to wait till next week for that. For now, make this, make extra of it, and save the leftovers for the pizza.

This beautiful mess of wilty kale and crispy-brown mushrooms came about when I cooked it up to go alongside roast beef the other night and, despite my deep carnivorism, it was my favorite thing on the plate. So, here it is for you!

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5-Minute, No-Cook Pizza Sauce

When the homemade stuff is better than store bought and almost as fast as opening a jar 🙌 That is this 5-Minute, No-Cook Pizza Sauce! Guys, can I tell you how happy it makes me to have finally come up with this recipe? This is years of bad, overly sweet or boringly bland pizza sauce in the making. Finally, my well-balanced, salty/sweet and perfectly acidic sauce dreams are a reality.

Salami and Hot Pepper Sicilian Pizza With just the sauce on top
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Radish Greens Salsa

We’re growing a garden!! It’s happening! It’s the pride and joy of my covid #stayhome experience. Cleared, amended, and planted in April… and needing to be weeded almost every day since. Now that I am an official gardener, with all of 1 month’s experience under my belt, I want to share a tip with everyone: GROW RADISHES! Especially if you lack confidence and know-how, like me. Grow radishes.

Radish Greens Salsa in a black bowl next to a bunch of fresh radishes
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Charred Corn Salad

This salad has me feeling all shorts and flip-flops and outdoor dining vibes. And, super grateful spring is here. Charred Corn Salad is fresh and full of crispy-crunchy romain lettuce, raw chopped green beans, bright scallions, spicy jalapeño, creamy avocado, and beautiful shards of golden yellow corn, that’s been charred almost to death, making it toasty, juicy, and super sweet.

Chopped romain lettuce, charred corn on the cob, sliced jalapeño, sliced green beans, sliced green onions, and an avocado on a cutting board
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Summer Squash Spaghetti

Farmer’s Markets are back ☀️ Oh man, is it nice to have fresh, local vegetables again! This Summer Squash Spaghetti is the bright, fork-twirling, crispy-mushroom-topped stuff we need to officially say buh-bye to winter. It’s light and lemony, with lots of bite from crushed red pepper and good yum factor from creamy goat cheese.

Summer Squash Spaghetti with crispy mushrooms in a skillet
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