D and I have been so busy wrapping things around here up, building a cold frame in the garden, and prepping for a friend’s wedding this weekend on top of Thanksgiving, I almost forgot to post this last wrap up!
These last few pictures in my Post-Summer Wrap Up all have vibrant shades of pink and purple in common. They are also all delicious appetizers, perfect for an upcoming holiday bash.
This first dish is my favorite– the colors totally stunning, and the taste… Well, it had a cured pork product, it was delicious. At a recent dinner party, this dish was the highlight of the night. It was really so simple to make, it should be the highlight at every dinner party. Beyond the color, the flavors still linger in my memory.
While D and I did grow melon (cantaloupe and watermelon) in our garden, this melon is not one of ours. (For the most part, ours were eaten before we could document their beauty.) This melon came to us via our CSA. It is a Sunjewel Melon, similar in flavor to honeydew, though not as intensely sweet. I am usually not a fan of honeydews, though if wrapped in pork, I make an exception. Sprinkled on top are purple basil flowers and tomato flakes*.
*Tomato flakes- After canning 50 lbs of tomatoes I had a huge pile of tomato skins. I didn’t want to compost them all– too overwhelming for my worms (and perhaps too acidic), and I couldn’t bare throwing them all away. What to do? I dehydrated a few cookie sheets worth of skins in the oven at 200F for about 2 hours and blitzed them into flakes. Now what? I sprinkle them for color on dishes like the above, I have mixed them with salt to make tomato-salt, and use them to add a slight tomato seasoning to dishes.
Sunjewel Melon (Honeydew) & Prosciutto
Serving Size= 4-5 (appetizer). Prep time= 8 minutes. Cook time= 0.
1 Sunjewel, or honeydew-like, melon- cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 pound prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
basil flowers (for garnish) optional, or 2 teaspoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon tomato flakes (for garnish) optional or 1 teaspoon hot chili flakes
Slice thick prosciutto pieces in half lengthwise. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each piece of melon and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on platter, drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle with basil flowers, tomato flakes, and/ or hot chili flakes.
I suppose these first two pictures both make lovely appetizers. This second one really needs a smell-o-vision computer screen. It’s a simple Camembert cheese covered in white truffle honey. Regular honey will do the trick, but if you can get your hands on truffle honey, it is well worth the hefty price.
This would make a lovely addition to a cheese plate, is so simple, yet is almost too decadent. I believe the picture explains the prep. If not: drizzle truffle honey over a nice piece of soft cheese, sprinkle with berries and serve. Can also serve with dried fruit and nuts on the side.
I believe it is safe to lay claim that this summer was the season of eggplants. I was a bit worried planting our eggplants when a fellow gardener told me she’d been gardening in the City for 15 years and was never successful with eggplants. Well behold! Not only did our garden produce an unbelievable bounty of eggplants (one day’s harvest from 4 plants is pictured above), our CSA managed to sneak eggplants into nearly every CSA box.
No complaints. D and I both love eggplant and made baba ganoush and similar dishes every chance we got. Luckily, we froze some baba and have it stored for a cold eggplant-less day this winter.
For a cozy twist on baba, traditionally served cold or at room temp, serve the side warm on bread or pita with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses over top and/ or a sprinkle of ground lamb seasoned with allspice.