A Sounding Out

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It’s often said that crisis sounds out a person’s character.  A family member of mine recently had his character sounded out over what should have been a minor crisis.  Let’s just say the results weren’t pretty.  Those of us who were on the receiving end of the ugliness though, reached out to one another and strengthened our connections.  My mother, my aunt, and I celebrated and affirmed our solidarity over a modest lunch recently.  I won’t air the dirty laundry, but I can share the food! 🙂  So…cheers to the good things in life and many more lunches to come.

My aunt, who is a wonderful photographer, took these pictures.

White Bean Dip with Crudites

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The white bean dip is vegan and easy to put together.  I soaked a cup of white beans and then cooked them for 10 minutes under high pressure in my Instant Pot.  On the stove, 30 to 40 minutes of simmering should do it.  I added a tablespoon of olive oil and two garlic cloves to the pot.  One of the keys to a creamy bean dip, as I have learned from seasoned hummus makers, is to puree the beans while they are still hot.  I used an immersion blender, but you could use a stand blender or a food processor (along with the cooked garlic).  Drain the beans before pureeing them, but save the cooking liquid.  Not only does it make a great base for soup, it’s also useful to add a little of it to the puree if it isn’t as loose as you’d like.  To the puree, I added some white miso and some dijon mustard (2 – 3 tablespoons each) as well as a tablespoon of chopped herbs, a pinch of Korean red pepper, and salt to taste.  Miso is very salty, so tatse before further seasoning.  The veggies here are from the local farmer’s market, except the immature patttypan squash.  It’s one of the first garden harvests.  Yay!!

Squash Blossom Frittata

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This frittata was made with 4 eggs in an iron skillet.  An article in Cook’s Illustrated magazine suggested that preheating a well seasoned iron skillet over low heat helps keep food, particularly proteins, from sticking.  Having had trouble with eggs in the skillet before, I tried this, and it works like a charm!  I sauteed thinly sliced vidalia onions in olive oil, then poured over the beaten eggs to which a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper had been added.  I sprinkled oregano leaves (you could use whatever herbs you like) and laid the cleaned squash blossoms on top.  Once the bottom was set and beginning to brown, I finished the whole thing under the broiler along with a tray of broiled tomatoes.  Squash blossoms have a delicate flavor and texture that work well with eggs.  If you have squash plants with extra male blooms, pick them the day you want to use them.  Take out the stem end and clean them carefully (ants get in there).  The garnish here is nasturtium, which are sadly on their last legs in the Georgia heat.

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