Friday, September 12, 2008

Jam, man!

What We Had For Dinner Last Night;

Roasted Eggplant and Lentil Soup based off of this recipe...

1 large eggplant, quartered lengthwise
3 T olive oil
1/2 C French lentils
1/2 C moong dal
14 large sage leaves
2 C water
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Season with salt. Bake 30m or until very tender.

Meanwhile, in a med saucepan, cover the lentils with 2" water, salt with 1/2 t salt and add 2 sage leaves. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer 20m. Blend in blender with 1 C water and pour into soup pot.

Remove eggplant from oven, scrape flesh into blender and blend with 1 C water. Add to lentils in pot. Season with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 T olive oil.

Fry the sage leaves in 1 T olive oil on high, 30s per side. Garnish soup with fried sage.

This was pretty good, if you haven't fried sage before, you really should, it's quite good!

The above is what I hovered over seemingly all day as I tried to make Sumac Elderberry Jam. I did persevere and We Have Jam!! More pics later. I think it's very good, I suppose I would. The idea is that the tartness of the sumac is supposed to heighten the flavor of the elderberries and I think they are a good combination.

Sumac Elderberry Jam

2 C sumac extract*
2 C elderberry juice**
4 C sugar
1 package Pomona's Universal Pectin

Boil up your sugar, sumac and elderberry. Add your pectin as per instructions on the package. Boil until it thickens and pour into jam jars. Boom! You've got jam!

*place 4-5 heads sumac in tea towel, tied up, cover with water and soak overnight
**pick 2 C worth of elderberries, cover with water and boil. Mash through strainer and reserve juice. Add water if needed to make 2 C juice.

I think if I do this next year, I'll use regular pectin and I'll not soak as many sumac heads as I did (I soaked an entire pot full and so now I've got sumac extract in the fridge). I also will perhaps leave the elderberry skins and seeds in to see if there's enough pectin in them to set without adding pectin. Must google this.

Purple Viking potatoes

melon! so refreshing!
shell beans- I'm using these in soup today, excited to see what it will be like...
fresh sage! used in soup above
tatsoi- bigger this time!