Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tahini Sauce

Considering I have a bunch of new cookbooks, I have no excuse not to make healthy things. I've made a couple salads which sounds lame but there was kale and some cooking and chopping involved and I made the dressings! So it totally counts. It also counts to be a grown up to make salads that aren't straight out of the bag (that was so 2012 of me). And I got to use more cherries for one of the salads.

Raw ingredients, fresh for the chopping
But this post is not about salads, it's about something called tahini. An accidental theme arose in my cooking but I guess that's what happens when you get recipes from the same source. I'm a fan of eggplant so looked for eggplant recipes. Plus, the picture looks pretty. Smitten Kitchen cookbook contains glorious pictures and I'm a definite picture person, if there isn't an image then I probably won't make it. Visual learner for the win. (Note: I tried to find the recipe online but I guess it's just in the book and I'm so far behind on blogging that I don't want to take the time to type the whole thing. Roast eggplant, add tahini sauce from carrot soup OR buy the book!).

Anyways, this eggplant has chick peas (oh look, a can of chickpeas from that time I wanted to make turkey chili but never got the recipe) and something called yogurt tahini sauce. What is tahini? I'm not sure but based on my Google search, it's kind of like humus. But it's not next to humus in the grocery store. A few laps around the grocery store later, I finally asked a person. I don't like asking people when I don't even know what it is. How would I begin to describe something I don't know about? Well, I happened to pick the one guy who knew what it was from a trip to India and he delved into a description of how it differs from humus (milder, apparently).

Surprisingly delicious and crunchy chickpeas
Back in the kitchen, I have 3lbs of eggplant, a can of chickpeas, some plain yogurt and tahini sauce. I was so proud of myself for getting exactly 3lbs. Note to self: half recipes. I thought I could save myself some dishes and put the chickpeas on the same tray as the eggplant. Now, I learned from previous experiments that the largest of my baking sheets doesn't fit in my oven. SO, we used the second largest--which barely held all the eggplant so two sheets it is.

That's a lot of eggplant...
Simultaneously, I decided to make carrot soup. I stumbled across this when I went to 'like' Smitten Kitchen on Facebook and bam! The post was carrot soup with chickpeas and yogurt tahini sauce. We have yet another theme.

Now remember, the last time I tried to make soup, blender disaster ensued. But now I have an immersion blender and it was amazing! I managed to fit the ingredients into the one pot (this is impressive for me). But this turned out delicious. And I had all this yogurt tahini sauce.

Oh my, blended into perfection and not all over my kitchen
I was afraid I overcooked the eggplant because really, how can I tell? The downside to this is I ended up with a whole lotta eggplant, 3lbs to be exact. I did manage to eat it but now I need a break from the purple plant again. I think every time I make something with eggplant, I make too much. Thai eggplant, roasted eggplant and goat cheese salad, and now roasted eggplant with yogurt tahini. And the carrot soup was tangy and delicious, quite surprising that it wasn't overwhelmingly carrot-y. 

Carrot soup complete with yogurt tahini sauce and chickpeas

I really must explore other vegetables. And halving recipes...

And roasted eggplant with yogurt tahini sauce (and chickpeas)

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