Summer in Phoenix means very long, hot days and cooking is the very last thing I want to do. Sitting by the pool with an ice cold drink while waiting for my grill to work it's magic on these eggplants however, is my idea of a perfect summer supper. Grilling thick slices of eggplant brings out a wonderful smokey flavor that baking just can't replicate. In a pinch broiling them will do but I find that not only is the flavor not up to par but they turn out a bit soggier than when on the grill.
Now that the kids are out of school I seem to have lost any and all motivation to cook over involved meals. We have a fun, semi-structured summer plan to keep our bodies in motion and our minds from turning into jello. On the 3 days during the week that I work my mom is nice enough to have a short, fun and interactive lesson planned for them. They've been learning about insects, ocean creatures and the different parts of plants so far. After their lesson they do a fun project or a craft about what they learned.
On the week they learned about insects, they learned all about bees and how they make honey and interact with each other in the hive. We have a fun trip to a small, family owned farm near our house that has several bee hives on site! How cool! This will also let them see how and where plants, our food in particular grow. Right now they think that bananas grow at the grocery store and hot dogs grow on trees. O.K. not really, but living in the city they've only seen the few pathetic plants and herbs that mommy tries to grow in pots. So we are looking forward to a trip to a real farm.
Eggplant is almost at the end of it's season here in the Phoenix desert so we will have to pick up several while we are at the farm along with heirloom tomatoes, peppers, purple and green beans,
summer squash and strawberries.
|Tonapah Rob's Vegetable Farm. Heirloom Tomatoes|
I'll have to post about the whole bee hive experience and pick up a bottle of the local, Organic honey they produce there! They also have over 300 hens so hopefully we will get some nice fresh eggs.
Simple Summer Supper
I know it may sound like a lot of preparation but it's really not. I just wanted to explain in detail. Also,
the flavor of the bean puree was so complex thanks to slow cooking in the herbs, the grilled garlic and leek and paired wonderfully with the eggplant caprese.
It makes this a complete and very satisfying dinner.