Turn on the oven or grill to a high heat. Lay the eggplant whole on an aluminum covered baking sheet or directly on the grill, and let it go for as long as it takes until the eggplant is completely blackened, turning it occasionally to ensure an even blistering. (approximately 30-40 minutes.)
If making the tomato-basil roasted eggplant salad, add the bell peppers to the oven for about 15 minutes after the eggplant, and let them roast alongside it.
Then, using plastic thongs or your hands (never metal), put the eggplant (and peppers) in a plastic bag and let rest until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, peel the eggplant (and peppers) with your hands, and remove the flesh.
Using your hands, tear eggplant flesh into strands and chop peppers. Drizzle wiith a bit of lemon and set aside, covered in plastic wrap.
Chop the rest of the ingredients and add to the eggplant, and season as needed. The salads can be served immediately, though they get even better if you let them sit.
Dice the onions, carrots, and celery into equal sized pieces. Cook on a medium-high heat until translucent with garlic, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, chili flakes, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then lower heat and bring to a simmer.
Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the spinach, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted and still bright green, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside in a bowl and let cool. Once cooled, finely chop the spinach.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, spinach, eggs, and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the tomatoe sauce to medium heat. Form the ricotta mixture into ping pong sized balls: these are now gnudi. Gently drop them into the sauce, cover and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes until they are firm.
Serve the gnudi into bowls and cover with sauce. Grate some parmesan cheese on top, serve and enjoy.
If you leave out the spinach and have plain ricotta Gnudi it will look like this.
Remove fish from the refrigerator 15 - 30 minutes before you intend to cook it.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make the vinaigrette, mix 4 tbsp. of lemon juice, 8 tbsp. of olive oil, approximately 2 tsp of honey and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the amount of honey and olive oil to balance out the acidity of the lemon.
Heat olive oil in a pan until just smoking. Make sure the fish is dry, season both sides with salt and season flesh side with pepper. Place in the pan skin side down and cook until the skin is crispy and the fish is nearly cooked through.
You will have to adjust the heat as you go to make sure that the skin gets crispy and brown without overcooking the fish. Turn the fish over and cook the fish side very briefly. Remove to wire rack.
Heat olive oil in a pan until it just begins to smoke and add the diced potatoes in one layer. Season with salt, toss and then let the potatoes sit until they begin to turn golden brown. Toss until they are somewhat evenly browned. If they need to continue cooking, put the pan in the oven and finish cooking in the oven.
Toss the butter, garlic, shallot and herbs into the pan and toss until the garlic and shallot are soft and fragrant. Add spinach and move it around vigorously until it is evenly wilted. Drain well.
Reheat the fish briefly in a hot oven and serve over the potatoes. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and around the fish.
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan until it moves easily across the pan, but before it starts to smoke. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until they are soft and fragrant, but before they start to change colour.
Add the basmati rice and cook until the rice is toasted, but before it starts to change colour. Add the hot water. The water should simmer immediately.
Add a pinch of salt, cover, and put the pot directly in the oven, on the middle rack. Cook for 12 minutes, then remove the rice from the oven and cover the pot with a kitchen towel (or paper towel), and let sit in a warm place.
While the basmati rice is cooking, prepare the wild rice. Heat enough grapeseed oil in a sauté pan such that when you add the rice it will be completely submerged in oil. Heat the oil until it is smoking, add a pinch of salt.
Add the wild rice, and swirl immediately. The rice grains will fry and puff up very quickly; swirling ensures that they cook evenly. When the rice is puffy, pour it out into a strainer.
Then lay the ice out on a tray lined with paper towels to continue draining.
Heat the vinegar and sugar with 1/4 cup water. When the liquid comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and immediately add the dried fruit to rehydrate.
Let the fruit cool in the liquid.
Finally, prepare the curry oil. Heat approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil in a sauté pan until it moves easily across the pan, but before it starts to smoke.
Add cumin seeds and curry powder and swirl for even cooking. Add the chickpeas and toss to coat.
Add the mixture to the rice and mix well.
Serve the basmati chickpea mixture topped with puffed wild rice and dried fruit herb combination. Enjoy!
If using dry chickpeas, pour chickpeas into a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Add baking powder and 4 tbsp. of flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered for several hours.
Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle Eastern markets.
Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 F in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test, if it falls apart, add a little more flour to the mixture. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
To assemble falafel sandwiches, fill half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.
FUN FACTS: 1. Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas. 2. Tahini (also called tahini) is an oily paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is available in Middle Eastern markets. 3. To garnish your falafel in true Israeli style, try adding one or several of the following condiments: Harrissa hot sauce, pickled turnips, mango amba (pickled), or sauerkraut.