Monday, June 29, 2009

Garden Inspired Feast

This evening when James and I got home after work, I went into the garden to talk to my neighbor (which I do almost everyday). She is from Qatar and makes the most delicious food (food that she is kind enough to share with us on a regular basis). This particular evening as we both admired the blooms and herbs I felt inspired to cook. The thyme is in bloom and abundant, the rosemary is fragrant, and the mint has taken over. Tonight we ate a feast (I say feast because of the numerous components) of epic weeknight proportion.


~Mediterranean vegetable stew with garlic thyme and rosemary~
~Sourdough & Irish cheddar crostini with pepper~

~Greek salad with marinated chicken breasts and mint~


2 small-medium eggplants
2 large zucchinis
1 large onion
1 jar tomato sauce (you could substitute a large can of crushed tomatoes)
8 large cloves garlic
1 14oz can white beans
olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
fresh rosemary (optional garnish)

  1. In a large pan (soup, stock, or extra large saute), cook chopped onion in olive oil and a pinch of salt until translucent.
  2. To onions add all zucchini (quartered) and all eggplant (cubed into sugar cube sized pieces) and stir to combine. Saute until vegetables have begun to brown very slightly.
  3. Add white wine and stir for a minute before adding the tomato sauce, the beans, all of the thyme, all of the garlic (finely minced). Simmer contents, stirring occasionally.
  4. You may need to add a bit of water to loosen the sauce.
  5. After simmering for at least 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stew can simmer on a very low flame for up to 1 hour.
  7. Serve hot and garnish with fresh rosemary leaves.
~Serves 6-8~


4 generous cups of lettuce (I used a mix of romaine, field greens, and spinach)
2 medium tomatoes
1 cup of feta cheese
1/2 cup of spicy olives
1 large cucumber
2 large chic breasts
1 1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 fresh mint
1 large clove garlic
  1. To make marinade and dressing: in a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper, and the garlic clove (minced). Place half of the mixture in a small pitcher or bowl and set aside as the salad dressing.
  2. Use the remaining half to marinate the chicken (cut into strips) for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Into a preheated skillet or saute pan place chicken (without its marinade) and cook over medium heat until slightly browned. Add marinade to pan and continue to cook until marinade is reduced and chicken is cooked through.
  4. Divide all remaining salad ingredients between 4 dishes, places chicken pieces on top and drizzle with the reserved vinaigrette.
~Serves 4~

3 slices of good quality sourdough bread
1 cup of grated Irish sharp cheddar cheese
olive oil
fresh ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet or toaster tray with parchment paper.
  3. Slice bread into small wedges or strips (about 1"x2") and brush lightly with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle cheese and fresh ground pepper evenly over bread.
  5. Bake until bread is crispy and cheese it melted.
~Serves 6~


  1. Mmm! These look amazing. My herbs are growing so much right now too, and I'll be sure to try this recipe out with them.

  2. dinner tonight. i feel like chicken tonight..(surprised?)