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Roasted Eggplant Dip with Toasted Seeds
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If you’re new to this space (welcome!), please feel free to see a bit more about this newsletter here. I’m so pleased you’ve joined us. We’ve got a good one this week!
Things here on the farm restoration front have been quite busy the last few weeks. Chad is making incredible progress with the walls, which have including stripping at least five layers of wallpaper and repairing the plaster underneath. He will be limewashing them next and because Chad is Chad, he is mixing his own. No store bought limewash paint in our future! More to come.
I don’t want to beat around the bush, so let’s get to it. Today’s installment includes some very good recommendations, our “Dinner Again column,” with what I’ve really been cooking day to day AND a brand new recipe for Roasted Eggplant Dip with Toasted Seeds - a spin on baba ganoush. Eggplant is in season and we should be cooking with it.
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🍷 Drinking: The Waves wine club. A very cool new way to learn, drink and get natural wines delivered! Sommeliers Raj Parr and Billy Smith (formerly of the Four Horsemen in BK) curated the site and have a fun and thoughtful list of wines from all over the world - Canada included! You can pick your own wines or have them put together bottles based on what you like to drink. A smart, new approach to the typical wine club model. I sampled a few of the wines, all delightful, the Koppitsch pictured below is lovely with a bit of chill on it. It’s an Austrian wine blend mostly made of Zweigelt and a bit of St. Laurent - right up my alley!
📚 This Summer's Reading List So Far, All Superb: The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard, The Rabbit Hutch byTess Gunty, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan and Women Without Kids by Ruby Warrington.
Monday: Roast Salmon with Tomato Butter, New Potatoes with so much Butter and Sautéed String Beans. I seasoned the salmon simply with salt, pepper, some fennel pollen and a pinch of dried mint and roasted it at 400 degrees, until just cooked through. Potatoes were boiled until fork tender and tossed with an obscene amount of salted butter - I buy Cow’s Creamery when I’m in Nova Scotia. Their ice cream is also very good. String beans were blistered in some olive oil, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Here are some links to other salmon recipes I developed for the New York Times (paywall sorry, not my fault!).
Tuesday: Dan and Helen arrived and I made them a version of this very good Sweet Corn and New Potato Chowder, which I developed last summer. I did add some lobster meat to everyone's bowls before ladling - there were no complaints. I ate some for breakfast the next morning with no lobster and it was still a winner.
Wednesday: Dan made Pasta alla Boscaiola (paywall, sorry again!) from an America's Test Kitchen recipe, it was outrageously good. So good I might even subscribe to ATK? No notes.
Thursday: Marinated some pork chops from Nic Nat Farm with harissa, honey, garlic, and lime juice and grilled them quickly over a hot fire. Served with melted zucchini topped with garlic breadcrumbs and some simple steamed rice.
Friday: Oysters and Pizza Night! Our friend Deanne and Robert came over for dinner. We haven’t spent time with them since last year, so it was a real treat. We shucked some beautiful Beausoleil oysters from New Brunswick and I made a double batch of pizza dough. A note on this dough, I don’t knead it nearly as long as suggested, I would say 5 minutes tops and it always comes out perfectly. We snacked on gingersnaps for dessert. A perfect evening.
Colu Cooks is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Roasted Eggplant Dip with Toasted Seeds
Serves: 6 as a snack
Time: 1 hour total including the roasting time
2 large globe eggplants, about 3 ½ pounds
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to garnish and roast the eggplant
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons tahini paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, grated
1 lemon juiced, about 2 ½ tablespoons
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon dried mint
2 tablespoons roughly chopped dill, mint or parsley
Flaky salt for serving
Serve with crackers, pitas, flatbread, and crudités or alongside grilled lamb.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prick the eggplants with a fork all over the skin.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and with your hands slather both sides with some olive oil until lightly coated. Roast flesh side down until the skin completely collapses, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and when you are able to handle them, scrap the flesh over a colander with a bowl underneath, removing any dark browned bits. Let the eggplant sit for 20 minutes or so, so it can release as much moisture as possible. Meanwhile, toast the cumin seeds and the sesame seeds in a small, dry skillet, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes and set aside.
Transfer the drained eggplant to a bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil, tahini, ground cumin, garlic and lemon juice and a good pinch of kosher salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed with more lemon and salt. Drizzle with some more olive oil and top with the toasted cumin and sesame seeds, mint and herbs and a few pinches of flaky salt. Serve with crackers, pitas or flatbread, and crudités.
That’s all for now! Have a beautiful rest of your week. Paid subscribers, I’ll see you Sunday!