Cumin- and Coriander-Spiced Summer Veggies

Can we just hit “pause” for a moment and try to make summer last a little bit longer?  I know we’ve still got a month or so (or more, if you’re thinking about the seasonal calendar instead of the academic calendar), but I’ve gotten into a comfy breakfast routine that involves fresh berries and I hate the idea of giving it up in a few weeks.  I’m not ready to go back to oatmeal.  I don’t want to have to wear socks.  I want to keep eating farmers market nectarines that are so wonderfully sweet that I momentarily thought, “Maybe I should be one of those people who just eats fruit for dessert.”  Sure, I laughed it off once I remembered the sea salt brownies in the freezer, but the nectarine was so good that I contemplated swearing off chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate and reasons to extend summer, I have only had one s’more this year.  That word doesn’t even look right in the singular form. I have eaten no more than two tomatoes, and they were somewhat disappointing.  I have so much to accomplish in the next month.

To be fair, I have enjoyed steamed crabs twice, maxed out my yearly allowance of hot dogs*, and I’ve consumed so many eggplants, I’m surprised I have not turned purple. They’re my new favorite meaty vegetable (fruit?) and we’re having a hot and heavy affair before the novelty wears off and they get put into regular rotation.

Here’s something I’ve learned this summer on my insatiable quest for eggplants: Eggplants from Trader Joe’s, even if they are featured in a “Grown Locally” section, are not as good as eggplants from a farmers market.  But if you cook them in olive oil infused with cumin, coriander, and saffron, you might be able to overlook their inferiority.

Freshly ground cumin and coriander… I love a good excuse to pull out my mortar and pestle.

seeds

This was an adaptation of a Bon Appetit recipe for Spiced Peppers and Eggplant.  Since I decided to add a yellow zucchini to the mix, I dropped the yellow peppers and just went with orange, because that’s all TJ’s had and I am not going to be fooled into buying a $6 red pepper imported from Holland from our friendly organic market.**

veggie trio

I didn’t change the recipe beyond the particular combination of vegetables, and using a combo of basil and cilantro, so I’m just going to direct you to the original recipe.  I took BA’s suggestion to chop up the vegetables and stir them in with some Israeli couscous, but I can see them also being a great side to some grilled chicken, pork, or steak.

roasted veggies

*In case you are envisioning that I have eaten dozens upon dozens of hot dogs, I will tell you that it apparently only takes seven or eight hot dogs eaten over the course of a summer to make me feel guilty about eating hot dogs.

**Not again, that is.

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