So for the moment it's goodbye, Asian cuisine, hello Mediterranean! That's okay, because I needed to be catapulted out of my rut. So, yes, here are some nice meals I've had lately using garden ingredients.
Incidentally, it's interesting to see what assumptions cookbook authors make about their readers. In their header notes to the Velvety carrot and ginger soup, shown here, the authors of The Candle Cafe Cookbook write "It's even more nutritious when you can find just-dug, farm-fresh carrots from your local market." How about just-dug, fresh carrots from your own garden? But maybe they don't have those in New York...the soup, however, was excellent. I always have to get over (yet another of my many) irrational prejudices, this one against creamed soups which somehow have been classified in my mind (I blame you, Mom) as "not food." The recipe is here, "adapted" (oh my god, de-veganized!), so sub vegetable broth for the other thing and leave out the tomato puree and veganize everything else and you'll be good to go. I just loved this soup, and instead of a pinch of cayenne I used about a teaspoon of it, so it was bright orange and very fiery. Note the beet chips used for garnish, an idea which I stole from Rose's blog Dandelion. This is a very good way to cook beets!
Next up, zucchini pancakes from Canadian Living. I subbed urad flour for the eggs just as an experiment, but with non-spectacular results. The recipe could be veganized any way, and I don't think you even would need to sub anything at all for the eggs. I liked it though; the cornmeal gave it a nice crunch.
Then I got into Donna Klein's The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. This is an interesting vegan cookbook for many good reasons, one among which is that she isn't into substitutions at all. There are no meat or cheese analogues in any of her recipes, and I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but her recipes don't even seem to call for non-dairy milk. So I had to balance her out a little with Bryanna Clark Grogan in this meal. Here's a dish that uses my sweet millions, Sauteed cherry tomatoes with Mediterranean herbs. It's simple, but brilliant. You saute the tomatoes in oil, so they go from this:
Served here with a kabocha squash gratin and Bryanna Clark Grogan's Hot Italian sausage, formed not into sausages, which IMO would be kind of gross, but into innocent round balls, which are delicious and somehow non-gross.