There is nothing like the anticipation of a relaxing and much needed holiday to get your inspiration flowing, well, actually fresh produce from the garden will also do the same thing for me. When the fresh summer produce is flowing and you are pretty much guaranteed a harvest that is enough to add to the family meal table each day, the holiday temptation wins out over the predictability.
If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that I have been busy developing new products for you over the last 12 months. This has included two new products to help families, or those with a small growing space, to grow their own fresh herbs and vegetables. I have also written my first book called Grow Just One Thing – The first step in a fresh food journey. That in itself has been an incredible, exhilarating and enormously stressful and time consuming activity.
Bringing each of my new products to fruition, sharing them with my community of readers and publishing my new book are each things that I am very proud of achieving and contributing to help others start their own fresh food journey. Each of them is designed to in some way help me realise my dream of EVERY Australian family growing at least one fresh food item at home. There are so many benefits to be gained from growing some of your own fresh food, even if it is just one thing.
All in all, it has been a very busy, stressful, and also exciting 12 months that is about to culminate in the launch of my book to the world. My family and I could really do with a holiday!
As luck would have it, I saw a Facebook post about an Asian Inspired recipe competition. The prize is a food based holiday to Asia that includes cooking school and is hosted by Maeve O’Meara. If you know me you know that I was compelled to enter!
I have had a little success in the past with recipe competitions including winning a trip to Italy. That experience was the trip of a lifetime,one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I know in my heart that to hope to win a second food-orientated trip is really too much to dream of, but as the saying goes – “you have to be in it to win it” and we sure can’t afford to take a holiday break otherwise! No harm in trying is there?
My recipes are inspired by the fresh produce we harvest from our garden and Asian inspired flavours are my favourite.
After recently collecting our first fresh eggplant for the season, I had it earmarked for something special and this recipe is what evolved. I adore the slightly numbing twang of szechuan peppercorns. In combination with lime and fresh herbs the flavours are fresh and clean, perfect to pair with summer ingredients straight from the garden.
This is my recipe for Asian Inspired Eggplant with Szechuan Pepper. I hope you love it and fingers crossed it will lead to a little holiday break and some much needed time out with my little family.
- 1 small eggplant - evenly sliced into approximately 3 mm thick slices
- ⅓ cup rice flour
- 2 teaspoons szechuan peppercorns - ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- coconut oil for cooking
- 1 teaspoon fresh coriander root chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons gluten free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 lime - juiced
- To serve:
- 1 small cucumber peeled and diced
- additional lime juice (1/4 lime)
- fresh spring onion - finely chopped
- fresh red chilli finely chopped
- fresh coriander leaves
- Slice the eggplant and set aside
- To a shallow dish add the rice flour and the ground peppercorns and salt and mix to combine
- Dip each side of the eggplant into the flour and turn to do the other side
- Combine the additional ingredients, except those to serve
- Heat a pan to medium heat and add the coconut oil to warm
- To the warmed pan add the slices of eggplant in batches until browned on each side
- Set aside and turn the heat of the pan down to low and allow the heat to reduce for a minute
- Add the coriander root and other ingredients to the pan and then return the eggplant, quickly stirring through to coat and warm
- To serve add the diced cucumber to the plate and top with the fresh herbs and squeeze of the additional lime juice
- Add finely sliced chilli if desired
Feel free to vote here before the end of this week for my recipe if you like the look of it. There is very strong competition for this weeks entries so I am not expecting to win the weekly prize but am hoping my dish appeals to the judges for consideration in the overall judging of the winning entry. I am sure all votes help so if you have a minute I’d love you to post a vote.
Regardless of the inspiration, or motivation that was behind this recipe, I hope that you give it a try and enjoy it before the glorious produce of the summer garden ends. Have a wonderful weekend. X
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