Monday kicked my butt.  I actually thought I was masking my scatter-brainedness rather well with a carefully choreographed series of motions and scripted exchanges delivered at strategically chosen times over the course of the day… until I tried to make dinner.  And washed an onion.  And, while opening a can of garbanzo beans, got splashed with bean juice both on the forehead and, intriguingly, up by my left elbow under a long sleeve. And then sat down to write about it and typed “eggplant” with two ts.  And typed “typed” with two ps.

But you know what’s great about eggplantt and leeks and cracked wheat and garbanzo beans?  You really can’t go wrong, even with markedly diminished cognitive skills.  For that, on a night like this, I’m most grateful.

Cracked wheat with eggplant + leeks + garbanzo beans

  • 1 cup cracked wheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Chinese eggplant
  • 1 leek
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can tomato sauce (my cupboard suggested “Spanish style” and I didn’t argue)
  1. I sauteed the cracked wheat in some olive oil just because that made me happy.  Then the water joined the party, and it all boiled and then simmered for some 20 minutes or so.
  2. In the meantime, I sauteed the onion and eggplant in a separate skillet, all the while getting rather distracted by The Daily Show.  So, I think I added oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.  It kind of tasted like I had.
  3. Then, when the eggplant and onions became soft, the leeks and tomatoes went in for an additional couple of minutes.  And lastly, after the forehead + elbow splash incident, the garbanzos jumped in.
  4. And then we ate and were happy.
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Let’s transition ever so gently into this upcoming week that threatens to hold me responsible for getting up at the rude hour of 8:00 7:00, putting on a grown-up outfit, and actually getting some work done.  How about something both righteously wholesome and just a touch decadent on this last day of this most delicious of breaks, to make the transition bearable…

Polenta rounds with prosciutto, goat cheese, and onion+pepper relish

  • 1 polenta log
  • 5-6 strips prosciutto
  • as much goat cheese as you’d like
  • a tablespoon or two of pepper+onion relish, or something else along similar lines of zappiness
  • fresh dill

You can guess the rest: layer it all in the way that pleases your heart and pop it into the oven for 10 minutes or so at 375F.  And look how perfectly your creation will nestle against a salad of mixed greens and garbanzo beans!

Hummus

November 6, 2009

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I won’t even begin to pretend that this is comparable to that lovely substance we get at our favorite Middle Eastern joint.  This is a different, tahiniless beast–but still so very good:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (drain and save 1/2 of the liquid to include in the hummus)
  • 1 hefty clove of garlic
  • some lemon (say, whatever you have left in your fridge at the end of the week?… in my case, a less-than-inspired elderly half)
  • salt to taste

Toss it all together in your food processor and pulse until smooth.  That’s it!  (Unless you’re me and can’t resist adding cilantro and paprika.)

Then, when your husband comes home and wants to know why you smell like garlic, you can send him straight to the hummus bowl to have some ASAP; that way, neither of you will notice the intense garlickiness of the other.  And may I also recommend some merlot, and the new Paul Auster, and a movie on the sofa with two purring kittens in this mild early November darkness?  Because that’s where we’re headed, and it is good.