Can’t get enough of that wonderful Doef

Doef’s Greenhouse has been a mainstay at local markets for years and I love everything they do. The one thing I enjoy more than much of their products is their fresh eggplant. Whether I roast it, grill it, pan fry or stir fry it’s a great ingredient. One thing I like to do regularly is roasted small cubes of it for pizzas, salads, or pastas. This is how I do it:

Honey Roasted Eggplant:

1 medium Doef’s Greenhouse eggplant, cubed into 2cm dice.

1/4 cup Coal Lake honey

2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

1 Doef’s Greenhouse red chilli, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/200 degrees C.

Add the honey, oil and chilli to a food processor and puree until mostly smooth (a few fine chunks are ok). Coat the eggplant chunks with this mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, tossing the eggplant about halfway through the roasting process to ensure it browns evenly on all sides. Allow to cool and use on pizza, salad or pasta.

I like to also make flatbreads using their eggplant. I like to replace some of the fat in many baked goods that I do with roasted eggplant puree. These are my flatbreads:

Eggplant Flatbreads:

1 medium Doef’s Greenhouse eggplant

1/2 cup Mighty Trio Organics canola oil *See Note

6 cups whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp salt

1-3/4 to 2 cups warm water

Note: Mighty Trio’s cold pressed canola oil is the only oil you can use for this to work, other oils will just make the dough too crumbly. If you don’t have their oil, get some! If you’re out, then you can use an equivalent amount of softened butter.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/200 degrees C.

Pierce the eggplant skin with a fork in several places, place on a baking sheet and roast until very soft (about 40-50 minutes). Allow to cool. Scoop roasted flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup of roasted eggplant puree and add it back to the food processor. Add the oil and puree again to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the roasted eggplant-canola oil mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a fork until it’s crumbly. Gradually add the warm water to this and if it’s too dry, add a bit more warm water. Turn the dough out on to the counter and knead until smooth (about 7-10 minutes). Separate into 16 equal sized balls of dough and allow to rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat an ungreased non-stick pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Roll out one ball of dough until 1/4-1/2 cm thick. It should make a rough 25cm (10″) diameter circle of dough. Griddle the flatbread for 2-3 minutes until golden on one side, then another minute on the other. Repeat with remaining balls of dough. Use these in wraps, as a base for flatbread pizzas, quesadillas, or cut into wedges and bake into chips.

One of my favourite uses of these flatbreads are quick and easy pizzas. The toppings can vary depending on my leftovers in the fridge, what’s seasonal in the market or what’s growing in my garden. Here’s one of my more recent creations:

Duck Proscuitto and Roasted Eggplant Flatbread Pizza:

2 prepared Eggplant Flatbreads

2 Tbsp tomato paste

3-4 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Doef’s Greenhouse red chilli

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup prepared Honey Roasted Eggplant

1 Doef’s Greenhouse red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

50g Greens Eggs and Ham duck proscuitto, chopped into 1cm dice.

100g Sylvan Star gruyere cheese, grated

50g Smoky Valley chevre

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/200 degrees C.

In a small saucepan, add oil and onions and saute over medium high heat for 7-10 minutes. As it begins to brown, reduce the heat to medium. If the onions become to dry and brown too quickly add a few tablespoons of water and scrape the bottom of the pan. As it begins to colour darker, reduce the heat. After about 15-20 minutes, you should have soft, sweet, carmelized onions. Set aside to cool.

Slice the red chilli in half. Finely chop half the chilli and thinly slice the other half. Set the thinly sliced chilli aside. Add the finely chopped chilli to a small bowl with the tomato paste, water, salt and oregano. Stir together until smooth.

Set the flatbreads on a large baking sheet. Spread enough tomato sauce on each to thinly cover. Top with Honey Roasted eggplant, reserved carmelized onions, sweet peppers, duck proscuitto and gruyere. Pinch small teaspoon sized dots of chevre over the top, evenly spacing it over both pizzas. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until deeply golden and the flatbread is crisp. Cut into quarters and serve immediately.

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Asparagus season

With great glee, the good folks from Edgar Farms asparagus had a bounty of deliciously sweet, fresh asparagus at the City Market on 104th yesterday. After finishing up with Ocean Odyssey Inland (I help sell stuff at the market and make crab cakes, salmon burgers, etc during the week), I came home to prepare a quick salad with it. The recipe is as follows:

Roasted Asparagus Salad:

8-10 fresh asparagus spears

2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into 2cm slices

1 large tomato or 6-8 cherry tomatoes,  cut into rough 2cm chunks

50g aged goat cheese (Smokey Lake Mountain Tomme cut into 1cm chunks

2 tsp Mighty Trio Organics flax seed oil

1 tsp black pepper

Brush the asparagus and onion slices with canola oil and place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes or until deeply golden on all sides. Allow to cool.  Cut into rough 2-3cm chunks and toss with fresh tomato, goat cheese, flax oil and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Then I woke up this morning and wanted to make an omelette with asparagus so I did this:

Roasted Asparagus, Pepper and Onion Omelette

1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

4-5 fresh Edgar Farms asparagus spears

1 medium onion, peeled and thickly sliced (2cm slices)

1 medium red bell pepper

2 Sunshine Organic large eggs

2 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped

1-1/2 tsp, each butter and Mighty Trio Organics canola oil.

Lightly brush the asparagus and onion with canola oil and place on a baking pan with the red pepper. Place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until the onions and asparagus are deeply golden and the pepper is lightly blackened. Set aside, putting the roasted pepper in a bag to steam the skin away.

Put a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add the butter and remaining canola oil. As the butter melts to a point of bubbling, peel the pepper, slice it into 5cm x 1 cm strips. Chop the onion and asparagus into rough 2cm pieces. Beat the eggs with half of the chives and add to the pan when the butter begins to bubble. As the eggs begin to set on the bottom, scrape the edges  to ensure it is not sticking. Lay the chopped onion, asparagus and red pepper strips along on side. Fold over the egg on the vegetable mixture and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, depending on the amount of colour you want on your omelette. Serve with the remaining chives sprinkled on top.