The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Mediterranean Eggplant, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls

EggplantTSTThis dish is our new favorite for a Meatless Monday, because for relatively little effort, we can have a rich, wholesome, flavorful meal that doesn’t leave us missing meat. And by “us” I mean my husband. My dear carnivore loves his steaks and this kind of meal, and rarely does he feel satisfied without a little meat. Except with this dish. I think it’s because of the rich texture of the eggplant. I love it because of all the flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with fresh and dried herb seasonings, and creamy ricotta and spinach that oozes out of these little eggplant rolls. The tomato sauce is simple and rustic, and the whole meal comes together in about 40 minutes. We’ll be making this again for a meatless meal any day of the week!

For more eggplant ideas, check out Nancy’s delicious Eggplant Stacks at Feasting with Friends, as well as Johnny’s delectable Eggplant Slices in Spiced Batter at Kitschnflavours and Elaine’s lovely Baba Ganoush at Foodbod. I know I’ve probably left out other great eggplant recipes I’ve seen lately – please feel free to add your favorite eggplant links in the comments. Enjoy!

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Leek & Ricotta Strata

StrataTST2 A rustic breakfast dish or side, this strata can feed a crowd with minimal effort on the cook’s part. And it’s tasty! I’ve used some light spring flavors of leeks, creamy ricotta, fresh thyme & chives, but you could use whatever veggie-cheese-herb combination appeals to you. Leftover Easter ham would be a great addition too! Happy Easter to all celebrating, and happy Fiesta Friday — come check out this week’s party!

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Dried Fig, Apple, Ricotta & Toasted Almond Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Assembling a salad from leftover ingredients in my pantry can be a risky endeavor. In my college days, one could search my kitchen and find a stash of ketchup, marshmallows, and some questionably fuzzy-looking bread (Oh, how did my roommates and I survive?). These days, I feel so grown-up to say that I can find an array of well-stocked items: a bag of dried figs I planned to use over the holidays, a beautiful bottle of balsamic vinegar I’d been meaning to open, half a bag of sliced almonds, an apple, leftover ricotta (from the Eggplant-Ricotta-Tomato Crostini that we made again as our entire dinner the other night), and some orange-blossom honey. Put them all together with some greens, and they seem like they were meant for each other, melding into a flavorful, colorful, and fresh salad. Here’s to a grown-up pantry. Enjoy!

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Roasted Eggplant, Ricotta & Tomato Crostini

IMG_5958Since reading Eating on the Wild Side, I’ve been trying to fill my grocery basket with more nutrient-rich purple vegetables and to roast them to get the most nutrition out of them. Deep purple eggplant is rich in a number of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that fight disease and even help lower bad cholesterol. I love the almost-melted texture of roasted eggplant, and here its softness complements crunchy toasted bread, a pillowy layer of cheese, and a sprinkling of sliced tomatoes and parsley. Continue reading


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Zesty Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

IMG_4154Hello, blueberry season! It’s been a long time since we’ve lived in blueberry country during the summer, so we are enjoying these flavorful berries fresh by the basketful from our local farm. The other day I made blueberry ricotta pancakes with some orange zest and vanilla and a blueberry and syrup topping for a flavor-intense and antioxidant-rich breakfast. Zesting the oranges alone was a wonderful way to start the morning – talk about aroma therapy – and the fluffy, tangy, sweet pancakes that followed were divine. Continue reading