Looking outside now I’m thinking I should have probably re-worked this title. The season have shifted and fall is definitely here. The wind carries a different kind of chill and mornings require an increase in cozy factor. I’m totally ready for it.
We’ve moved into our little apartment in the city, and even though we are happy to be here – it is a big change from anywhere we’ve lived together in the past. We’ve been so busy running around these past few weeks, I feel like we’ve just been two people quickly crossing paths every now and then, but never stopping to really seeing each other. There has been so much on our minds and that never ending to-do is always floating between us. If you’ve ever moved with someone maybe you know what I mean. I guess it can all feel a little off. Slowly we are starting to make our own routines, creating a life that suits us both over here. I know this all takes time, but we’re getting there. We decided to take a break from it all this weekend and headed down to Vermont for a little camping getaway. We turned our car into a tent and called it camping 2.0. It felt like total luxury compared to our adventures this summer. We ate pasta, and peanut butter on bread and it was darn pretty cold, but we laughed anyways. It was simple. It was needed.
Back in the city now, and I’m sitting here in front of my laptop while Matt sorts out some final paper work from our move across the ocean, both of us hoping to finish sooner rather than later so that there might be time for a little movie after. A different city, a new apartment – but something so familiar about it all. I don’t really forsee another post for this week, but my favorite weekend is coming up and I am looking forward to a family thanksgiving back home. Matt’s first one and hopefully it won’t be as much of a culture shock as his first easter. Hoping to fill my families’ bellies with a fall feast, and I’m thinking of bringing a version of this salad and definitely making pie. Always pie. Hoping this hearty meal and a little autumn sun will keep you all warm + cozy through the change of seasons. Happy Fall x
INDIAN SUMMER RATATOUILLE WITH CURRIED SOCCA + CILANTRO LIME YOGURT
The markets now are just bursting with all of summer’s bounty. Big ripe tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, eggplant and tons of vibrant greens. It’s the perfect season for slow stews and fresh soups. I took the idea of a traditional ratatouille, and added some of my favorite warm flavors. The mix of curried socca and fresh herby yogurt make this the perfect meal for these sunny fall days. Ratatouille, harissa and yogurt can be prepared ahead of time. Socca best when served fresh.
Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 4.
A few tablespoons olive or grape seed oil
2 medium eggplants, cut into cubes
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated, stems thinly chopped
5 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons harissa (store bought or see recipe below)
Salt + pepper to taste
Juice of half a lime
1 + 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 + 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil + more for pan
1 cup plant based yogurt of choice (I used coconut yogurt and loved the coconut-curry combo)
1 bunch cilantro, thinly chopped
1-2 green spring onions, white + green parts, thinly chopped
Zest + Juice of half a lime
Pinch flaky sea salt
2 large roasted red pepper
4-5 dried ancho chilis
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon each cumin, coriander + caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt|
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Water to thin, if needed
Small handful cooked chickpeas and extra lime + cilantro for topping, optional
Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add in chopped eggplant. You may need to do this in several steps depending on the size of your pot. Season with salt and stir so the eggplant is coated in oil, adding more olive oil (or a splash of water) if it seems a bit dry. Cook on medium/high for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the eggplant starts to soften. Continue to cook for another minute or two, until just starting to brown, then remove from pot and place in a large bowl. Repeat if necessary until all the eggplant is cooked.
Add a splash more oil to the pot, then add chopped pepper and onions. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes. Be careful not to burn the onions, you want them tender. Add cooked onions and pepper to the eggplant and set aside.
One last time add a touch of oil to the pot over low heat, then add the garlic, cilantro stems + cumin seeds. Slowly cook and toast over mild heat, until garlic is soft and seeds are fragrant, add a tablespoon or two of water here to make it really stew-like. Then add in the eggplant, peppers and onions and stir everything together until well coated. Add in the chopped tomatoes and harissa and cook everything down together until soft and stewy over low heat, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt + pepper, add a squeeze of lime before serving. Serve on top of crispy socca with herbed yogurt.
Roast your red peppers. Place on a lined tray in a 350 F / 175 C oven and roast for 45-60 minutes during often until all sides are dark and charred and the pepper is really soft inside. Let cool completely then chop and remove the skin and seeds and set aside.
Place ancho chilis in a bowl of hot water and let rest for half an hour until well softened. During this time toast the seeds together in a dry skillet until fragrant but not brown, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside. Drain the chilis and carefully remove all the seeds, wear gloves here to be extra cautious as the seeds can sometimes be extremely hot. Give the chilis a rough chop and set aside. Add toasted seeds and garlic to the bowl of a small food processor or blender, pulse to break up and combine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth or desired consistency. I added a splash of water at the end just to help my little blender along and break up the larger pieces of chili. You could also add extra olive oil if you prefer. Harissa keeps in a sealed jar in the fridge for a two weeks. To be used on everything.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, curry powder and salt. Add water and melted coconut oil and mix until well combined and smooth. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and let rest for at least an hour at room temperature.
Preheat broiler. Warm 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in an oven proof, non stick cast iron skillet over medium heat. Poor in 1/4 of the batter and swirl to evenly distribute across the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer to the oven and broil for 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from heat cool and loosed the edges with a spatula, then slide onto cooling rack while you repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve immediately or revive them later with a quick warm/toast in the oven.
Mix together yogurt, herb and lime. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking: Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
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