Hello! I am back from our odyssey to the other coast (the East one, for those of you paying attention) and I have a few food stories from the trip coming up, but right now I need to tell you about tonight's dinner, which is still blowing my mind. I'm off on staycation this week and consequently I have a bit more time than usual to devote to food prep and cooking, but I also came back from the trip with a longing for vegetables and more fish and herbs and summery fresh things. So I've been seeking out new veggie concoctions that don't involve lettuce (Chris hates it, and it doesn't much like me despite my admiration) and taking advantage of whatever looks good at Farm Boy.
Tonight was definitely one of those nights when all of the flavours just came together perfectly. While I was out today buying fabric (for a new table runner and place mats) I picked up a couple of trout fillets and made it into a warm salad with some tiny yellow potatoes and the leftover yogurt-dill sauce from Sunday night. Alongside that, I tweaked a Smitten Kitchen recipe to bring it closer to what I wanted, and it turned out to be a giant heap of caramelized eggplant and fresh tomato goodness, spiked with cool mint and salty feta, punched up with balsamic and smoothed with olive oil. This one's a keeper.
Trout and new potato salad
10-15 small yellow potatoes, larger ones halved
2 fillets trout
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender but not mushy, about ten minutes after they come to a boil. Drain and leave in colander to cool slightly; do not rinse. After 15 minutes place in a large bowl.
Broil the trout for seven to eight minutes or until done in the centre. Set aside to cool slightly.
Make the dressing: in a food processor, combine 1/2 cup dill, yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, buttermilk, salt and pepper, and whirl until well combined. Toss half of the dressing with the potatoes. Flake the trout and add it to the potatoes; add remaining dressing and reserved fresh dill and toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.
Eggplant and tomato salad with mint and feta
4 small purple eggplants, halved lengthwise
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta
3 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
pepper to taste
Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with olive or grapeseed oil and grill over medium-low heat, cut side down, until very soft; or roast in 425F oven for 30 min. Chop into chunks and set aside.
While eggplants are cooking, combine the tomatoes, mint, feta, balsamic, oil and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat. Taste and add salt, more oil or vinegar if desired. Once eggplant chunks cool slightly, toss with tomato mixture. Serve warm or cold.