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two easy end of summer recipes, slightly spicy minty marinated japanese eggplant & over the top crop of basil pesto


 slightly spicy minty marinated Japanese eggplant & over the top crop basil pesto



Two Summer recipes and I know it's October  🎃 , but with the smokey 💨  skies and hot 🥵 temperatures, aka: red-flag  Warning ⚠️ end days of Summer I still have recipes to make and share with you.  Japanese eggplants are fun because they're easy to grow and very purple, a beautiful color.
I like the way the long slender eggplants hide in their compact little bushes making you lift up their leaves and really search for your harvest.  I like the lushness of the sweet basil plants 🍃and their confidence to grow and grow right up into October.  Tomatoes are basically done and I have one more apple tree to harvest, maybe this weekend.
I would make falafel and cover it with slightly spicy minty marinated Japanese eggplant.  I would also make potato gnocchi and smother it with over the top crop of basil pesto, thank you very much. hmmmm..

Ingredients and Recipe for slightly spicy minty marinated Japanese eggplant
serves 4

4 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 small Serrano pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 generous tablespoon capers
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put eggplant slices in a mesh strainer and generously sprinkle with sea salt.  Let drain for 30 minutes.  Remove to a paper towel and blot the excess moisture.
Heat a heavy cast iron grill pan and add the eggplant slices in batches grilling until soft in the center and nice grill marks on both sides.
Combine the pepper, garlic, capers, mint, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Gently stir the grilled eggplant into the olive oil mixture, mixing well.
Pour into a glass jar with lid and let marinate for at least 6 hours in the fridge before serving.

Ingredients and Recipe for over the top crop of basil pesto
serves 4

4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to pour on top of pesto in jar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts and salt in a food processor and pulse, about 12 times, until chopped.
With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the basil mixture forms a paste.
Transfer the basil mixture to a bowl, stir in the lemon juice and the cheese. 
Scrape the bail pesto into a glass jar, pour about a spoonful of olive oil over the top and cover.
Basil pesto can stay in the fridge for a day or so before using.







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