When life gives you a cold, misty day, a sinus headache, and crabby children, what do you do? Well, you could just have a pity party... I'm sure it's very tempting... or you could get in the kitchen and roast some things.
Like the 2 lbs of eggplants that I roasted this morning and then converted into this Roasted Eggplant & Cashew dip:
Fact: roasting things always improves the situation when it's cold outside. You know what else always cheers me up? Pounding things in my mortar and pestle. That's how I prepared the herbs and garlic for this dip:
The dip is based on one in Deborah Madison's (non-vegan, though largely vegetarian and generally easily veganizable, if you just rip out the chapter on eggs & cheese, bleh) Local Flavors. It's actually supposed to have pine nuts but when I went to get mine out of the (totally sealed) bag today, there were moths in it. Moths. In my pine nuts. Is it not bad enough that pine nuts cost like $14/lb?? Moths. Sigh.
(Did I mention I'm having a day?)
So I pulled out the closest thing I have in my cabinet right now, cashews. And I toasted them in a pan and you know what... they're fine. Most of the flavor in this dip really comes from the tons of fresh herbs. I used cilantro, basil, and mint. The latter two were from my landlords' garden-- they just gave me a HUGE bag of basil from their final harvest and I am working through it with delight.
I had some of the dip with a piece of bread before it was time for me to head out the door, and J and the Emperor will have the rest tonight with crackers and veg.
Speaking of the Emperor, here he is with the weirdest free thing I've ever seen on the curb in Santa Cruz:
And here's the Magician doing something he hasn't been doing much of lately in the past few days:
I'm hoping to pop back in with a second post later tonight, but we'll see how I'm feeling when I actually get back home.