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CSA » digest LA
grilled lamb and roasted veggies

grilled lamb and roasted veggies

I went to the doctor today for a cold that won’t go away and she suggested that maybe I just need to take it easy… what?! I thought I was taking it easy… I didn’t even go on my third planned business trip this month. For my mellow night at home, I decided to cook some lamb chops I bought at the Culver City farmers market. Nothing much to learn here since you all know I likes the lamb, but I did find out just how expensive sustainable lamb is to buy. I am going to have to find a better compromise for the omnivore’s dilemma.

For a side, I roasted some asparagus, squash and potatoes that I had laying around the house. You know back when I cooked dinner for the husband, I used to just cook some way too complicated main thing and no sides. He would always tease me about it. Now I can’t imagine cooking dinner without sides. It is like Vladimir said in Waiting for Godot, “Never neglect the little things in life.”

tuscan surprise

tuscan surprise

Okay, so the CSA didn’t last too long. Last week, I got more eggplant and I was so busy at work that by the time I looked in on the veggies to cook anything they were all rotten. I got frustrated and felt guilty that I had nothing I could think to do with eggplant so I quit the CSA, bought an eggplant and decided to conquer this problem.

Going through my recipe folder on Google Docs (boy, I wish I had Recipe Byte), I found my sister’s recipe for Tuscan Surprise. The surprise, she says, is that it tastes so good. The recipe is a CSA dream with eggplant, yellow peppers, and tomatoes… and surprise! It is delicious. I also got amazing italian sausage from the meat stand at The Farmer’s Market on Fairfax.

Joanna adapted this recipe from The Silver Spoon cookbook, which for some reason calls this hearty fall dish something like Summer Bean Salad. So, here, I happily present Joanna’s Tuscan Surprise:

Tuscan Surprise
named so because i was surprised it was so good.

adapted from the Silver Spoon cookbook to include sausage. Make it without for a vegan dish.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
4 large or 6 small italian sausages (i prefer hot)
1 eggplant, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded and diced
2 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
12 ounces canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
4 basil leaves, chopped
1 fresh flat leaf parsley leaf, chopped
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan. Add a clove of garlic (whole) and chopped Italian sausages and cook through.  Remove the sausage and discard the garlic.  Add the eggplant and bell pepper to the pan and cook over high heat for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and beans, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes.  Mix in the cooked sausage.  Remove the pan from the heat, transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the lemon rind, basil and parsley.  Mix well and serve.

Note from Michelle: as is typical of me, I left off the lemon rind. basil and parsley. Not sure what lemon rind adds here and I was too lazy to clip basil and parsley from my garden.