I'm cooking from Vegetable Literacy this month for Cookbook Countdown, an event that's encouraged me to start using some of my long ignored cookbooks. This book explores the edible plant world through its families and for this post I delved into the Nightshade Family that includes not only deadly belladonna but also some favourite foods: tomatoes, peppers, chiles, eggplant and potatoes.
With tomatoes at their peak right now, A Fresh Tomato Relish made of ripe tomatoes, minced shallots, sherry vinegar and olive oil seemed a good place to start. This really was all about the beautiful flavour of the tomatoes; it added wonderful brightness to spinach-stuffed savoury crepes.
These Chive and Saffron Crepes made with spelt flour, a recipe from the Lily Family chapter, deserve a special mention they were so good. Their delicate appearance belied the full flavour within: nutty, earthy and herbaceous.
The author mentions that members of the same family complement each other and are often used together in a dish. I followed one of her suggestions and made a variation of this relish with chives and topped Griddled Eggplant Rounds with it and some creamy homemade ricotta for a simple and tasty appetizer.
I'm cooking from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison this month for Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray. Be sure to visit to see what everyone else is making.