Wednesday, September 08, 2010


"A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of the year."

~ William Longgood

(Chelone obliqua)

~ Sunny combination of rich harvest and herb flavors, fresh basil, a must.
(Sutter Home Napa Valley Cookbook)

2 medium globe eggplants, peeled if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 red onions, sliced vertically into thin strips
3 seeded red sweet peppers cut into narrow strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary (1 tsp. crumbled dried)
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano (1/2 tsp. dried)

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 lb. penne pasta (or other favorite short tubular pasta)
1 cup chopped/shredded fresh basil
1 cup crumbled mild goat cheese or feta cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375ยบ.
  • In roasting pan, combine eggplants, onions, and peppers. Add oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt to taste, and generous sprinklings of freshly ground black pepper. Stir vegetables to coat. Transfer to oven and roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until eggplant is very tender when pierced with fork, 35-45 minutes.
  • In small skillet, place pine nuts over medium heat and toast, shaking pan or stirring frequently, until lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool and set aside.
  • In large pot, bring 4 quarts water to rapid boil over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook, stirring frequently until tender but still firm to the bite.
  • Drain pasta in in colander. Rinse past pot and return to stove over the lowest heat. Add drained pasta and roasted vegetables, stirring to mix thoroughly and heat through. Stir in toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.
  • Divide pasta among warmed serving plates, sprinkle with cheese and serve. (8 appetizer servings - 4 main dish)
Suggested wine: Merlot or Zinfandel

(Chelone obliqua)

Height: 2-3 feet
Bloom Period: midsummer - early fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6
Sun or partial shade


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Joey -- love the turtle heads. I wonder if one could substitute zucchini for the eggplant in that recipe? We have an abundance from the neighbours!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Joey, Your quotation by William Longgood is, I believe, so apt for today and this time of year. After the frantic work required in the garden throughout the spring and early summer, it is wonderful now, as autumn approaches, to be able to take a much more relaxed attitude. Nothing seems quite so important and it almost comes as a relief to see the leaves turn and the colours fade.

Thank you for your email. I shall send the receipt just as soon as I am back in the UK, probably in mid September, where I have all [!!] my cookery books.

joey said...

Thank you, Nancy, and yes zucchini would be fine, just a different taste.

Carolyn ♥ said...

I've never seen Turtleheads before... they are gorgeous! and your recipe sounds delish!

Victoria said...

Wow and Yum..sounds divine! Gorgeous recipe!! lovely flowers too!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joey, I had turtleheads at my other house where I had a very moist area. I am not sure I could grow them here, have some shade but not a lot of moisture.

That recipe is wonderful, all of my favorite ingredients.


joey said...

You are a dear, Edith, and thank you. After high 80s yesterday, there is a nip in the air today, definitely a sweater day. With much to do to put the garden to bed, I feel a bit squirrelly!

Hello, Meredehuit, as you can see, Turtlehead are delightful! Thank you fun new friend :)

Thanks, dear Kiki. They sure brighten up a shady area in the garden. Enjoy :)

joey said...

Turtleheads are fun, aren't they, Eileen ... at least you had them. Enjoy the recipe, great for September.

Carol said...

It is a quieter time in the garden... lovely Turtlehead and your red pepper penne pasta seems delicious... I love basil. Beautiful photos and collages Joey! ;-)

Autumn Belle said...

The turtleheads are pretty and sweet. What a unique name. Wow, your recipe is yummy. I like eggplant and I like penne pasta.

Jan said...

Hi Joey, I was just outside today taking photos of my turtleheads. They really are a late bloomer and it's so nice to see something new pop up around this time. I have them planted in shade and sun...some do better than others, depending on the length of time the sun is on them. One of them suffered a bit in the heat...but now that it is their bloom time, that particular plant is seemingly coming back to life:-)

Jeff Branch said...

I've heard of a "Parrothead" but not a Turtlehead. I learn something every day. Nice photos and your blog is very well designed. Nice use of fonts and colors.

tina said...

Your turtlehead is wonderful. It's such a nice plant to have this time of the year.

One said...

Hi Joey, This is the fist time I am hearing and seeing a Turtlehead. It's beautiful. Since you are growing it under the shade, I don't think it will make it in my garden. It's Hot over here. As usual, beautiful photos. :)

Gail said...

Good morning Joey! I will admire the Turtlehead~can't make it happy here...But, the penne I can master! I love penne pasta and with eggplant, yummy! gailxxoo

marmee said...

your purpley turtle heads are beautiful. i love them.
we are in desperate need for rain. there is only so much watering one can do. i am tired of dust and brown. the pasta sounds wonderful. hope you are well my friend.
happy september.e

joey said...

Thank you, Carol. Yes, my waning garden is quieting down but these turtleheads, exploding :)

Love these cuties, Jan. Mine are exploding too!

Thank you, Jeff (my blog is so simple compared to most yet reluctant to change). I think you would definitely enjoy this plant!

Agree Tina. These are delightful since there is not much blooming in September.

Tried and true simple late summer favorite, Gail. Aw yes, a simple pasta is favorite too. Happy remains of summer!

Thank you, One. I love how our lives/gardens are different and why it's fun to share.

All is dry here too, Marmee, many lawns yellow :( Hey, it's still summer! Happy September, dear friend.

joey said...

Hi Autumn Belle ... your lovely comment got stuck in Blogger and just arrived. Thank you. Hope you try the pasta and enjoy :)

Skeeter said...

Your blog has made me hungry! Yum, it sounds good...

joey said...

Yes, mission accomplished, Skeeter!

Kala said...

So that's what they're called - lovely blossoms dear Joey!

Chad said...

Have not seen a turtle head before.They are beautiful plants and as always your photos are perfect.

joey said...

They are lovely, dear Kala, and much better viewed up close. Thank you.

How kind, Chad. You can see why these are a September favorite. Thank you.

Racquel said...

I love Turtlehead, it's nice to have something that blooms in September. :)

joey said...

Indeed, Racquel. And there are a few more back-row summer cuties, waiting to be a star!

Connie said...

Wonderful quote and I quite agree with it....I was just thinking it today about my fall garden. Maybe it is more tranquil because I don't have to work as hard or spend as much time watering anymore. But there is just something even about the fall sky and how it colors the garden that is different. I am thankful for 4 seasons!

joey said...

I love the four seasons too, Connie, and could not imagine life without enjoying the gifts of all. And yes, the fall sky is haunting. But I do hate to say goodbye to summer. Perhaps it's my age ... Whatever fun friend, we are blessed to enjoy it all.