Summer is a great time to make the most of local produce. Depending on where you live and the growing season, the produce varies. I gotta say, here in southern Spain there is always a growing season for something. I do believe we are spoilt for choices, freshness and prices. That's not a complaint. So, when it comes to cooking fresh and affordable dishes, it's not diffiucult. This dish came about because there was an abundance of zucchini and eggplant in the supermarket at a super low cost. When you can buy two large zucchini two large eggplants for a mere 1,20 euros,you realize that life is good. I spiced them up a bit and voilà, a side dish in no time.
So what about supermarkets and people. Special alert folks, mini rant coming up. Skip to the bottom for the recipe if you want no part of my shenanigans.
I have to pinch myself sometimes. Like yesterday at the supermarket checkout. All was going well. I was picking up food to start on the dinner. I wasn't in any particular hurry, just mindfully in my own world at the checkout thinking about everything from did I blow out the candle in the living room to major life decisions. Just regular thoughts at the checkout.
It was busy, there were at least 4 people ahead of me, one with a large cart filled to the gunnels. I had quite a filled basket and was just waiting patiently. As any other good, normal, sane person would do. Then people starting coming behind me as the line was getting longer. I noticed the two gentlemen behind me had one item each. I very kindly said, why don't you go ahead of me as I have way more things. So, they smiled, said thank you and moved ahead of me.
All so normal, right? Well, until the man behind them with enough groceries to feed an army said he was here before me and I butted in front of him! What? Was I being transposed into another galaxy. Had I started loosing my mind. Was he there as an imaginary being. I just smiled politely and continued putting my things on the belt until the belt was full and my basket was empty. But he wasn't done. At all. Then carried on screeching at me that I didn't understand him. Or should I say assuming I didn't, as he is speaking Spainsh. Duhh. Yes, sir I do understand you, but you are crazy. I left out the last part. He insisted that I take all my things off the belt and he go ahead with his year's supply of groceries. And it gets better, he even wanted to go ahead of the two guys with one item each. WTF.
If anyone knows me, they know I am not one for confrontation, especially in public with total strangers and a million bystanders staring. No, that is not me at all. So, I started pushing my stuff back to the end of the belt and moved to the side to let this, clearly very self important human ahead of me. The cashier's face was of total shock and disbelief. She remained silent and checked him out, smiled and even said thank you. I used to be a check out girl once upon a time and I am sure my 17 year old self would hand done the same thing. Maybe.
The best part is that I have an eye infection at the moment and my eyes water quite easily. So, it appeared as if I were a sobbing middle aged mess. I might be emotional, but come on I am not that bad. Could this get any better? I managed to check out, get to the car and arrive home safely with food for dinner. The dinner was delicious and the crazy man did not get invited. Like I said, life is good.
Today I am steering clear of the supermarket in fear. Well, not really. I just don't need stuff. I am happy sitting here writing this post where I cannot get yelled at by random crazy people.
For the moment I am focusing on this super easy side dish. Like I said, these veggies are everywhere at the moment and I can't seem to pass up a good deal.
We served these alongside Indian Butter Chicken, steamed Basmati Rice and a cooling Cucumber Raita dip. Yes, life is good!
Happy Friday and Happy Cooking!
Spiced Eggplant & Zucchini
Serves 6 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 45 minutes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon fennel seeds
5 Cardamom pods
1 Teaspoon turmeric
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Have ready a large roasting tin.
Cut the zucchini and eggplant lengthways and then cross ways into about 1/2 inch slices. Put them in the roasting tin and spread out evenly.
Smash open the cardamom pods and discard the outside shell. Using a mortar and pestel, combine the cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, olive oil, tumreric, garlic and salt. Mash it around really good until it is combined.
Spread the paste evenly over the vegetables until they are all coated well. Roast for about 20 minutes then give the vegetables a stir. Return to oven for a further 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and serve straight away.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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