Eggplant Dip Recipe – with Radish and Cilantro Watercolor

eggplant with radishes - watercolor by Leora Wenger
Would you like to make a creamy eggplant dip, no dairy involved, with tangy flavor and chopped vegetables? Read on.

Ingredients for main dip:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 lemon for its juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, cumin to taste
  • Fresh cilantro (you can use parsley, but it won’t be quite as flavorful)

Ingredients for salad mixins / toppings:

  • 2 or 3 red radishes, chopped small
  • 1 cucumber, chopped in cubes
  • 1 tomato, chopped in cubes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion (optional)
  • 1 chopped scallion (optional)

Bake the eggplant in a casserole dish at 375 for about 1.5 hours or until soft. Scrape out the insides into food processor. Place all the ingredients for the main dip (garlic, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, cilantro) into the food processor. Blend until smooth. Before serving, add chopped vegetables: radishes, cucumber, tomato, red onion, scallion. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

P.S. I just bought an Instant Pot. So far, I’ve used it to make flavored rice. Maybe my next watercolor will have some of the ingredients of my rice dish. Have you bought an Instant Pot? What do you make with it?

Man in Parka – Watercolor Sketch

man in parka watercolor
This watercolor sketch of a man in parka was painted while looking at a photo from 1985. Seems like another age – before digital photos. If you wonder why the background looks like ancient ruins, it was indeed somewhere in Israel. I do not know where in Israel.

When lousy things happen, either in the news or in one’s personal life, it is helpful to have expressive outlets. Some play music. Some write essays. I am pleased that I started painting again.

What is your expressive outlet?

Girl with Sunglasses – Watercolor

girl in sunglasses - watercolor
After months of not painting or posting, I am finally back to doing watercolor! Here is a watercolor painting of a girl wearing sunglasses. Does she look like a spy? The setting is Grounds for Sculpture in Hanilton Township, New Jersey, a wonderful place for an excursion.

I am happy to paint watercolors again. What subject(s) should I tackle next? I will play with ideas.

Note: I need to remember that I used software called VueScan to do this scan. When I did it straight with Photoshop or with Image Scan on the mac, both came out too bright and blurred details.

I hope you will continue to visit. Feel free to leave a comment on any creative endeavors you have been pursuing or enjoying.

Three Landscapes By the Water: Watercolors, Markers

landscape by the water watercolor
Recently my theme has been landscape with water – this one is a playful watercolor with colors not necessarily seen in the “original” scene. I can see possibilities for doing the scene again in different ways. I would like to spend more time studying the architecture of the house, for example.

Figure by the Lake. watercolor by Leora
This watercolor with a figure by a lake displays an underlying drawing a more or less true to the original composition. Unlike the one above, the colors are more muted. I like the idea of doing this scene with oils or with gouache or with stronger watercolor choices. I love the photo that I took of the scene; however, I don’t want to post it because I would rather viewer see just my artwork rather than judging the artwork based on the photo.

Landscape with sea made with markers
This frenetic, busy, intense marker-drawn scene was inspired by a series of videos called Sketchbook Revival. One artist talked about selected certain colors and then just making marks as desired – somehow this fun scene came out of my marker pens as a result. Like the scene on top, this one also has a house by the water. All three have signs of human involvement – the top one has a house, a pathway, a fence and tiny figures on the path. The second has the figure by the lake. The last one has the least – just a scribble scrabble hint of a house.

Over to the readers: What do you like to draw? Has one subject recently inspired you? If you have not drawn or painted, would you like to get started?

Jerusalem Neighborhood: Gate in Emek Refaim Watercolor

gate in Jerusalem neighborhood - Emek Refaim watercolor

Last December we stayed in the beautiful Jerusalem neighborhood called Emek Refaim. I took a photo of the this residence with a gate and stairs. Recently, I created this watercolor. In addition to being a study of a piece of a residential area, it is a study of greens. How many greens can one create in watercolor – you can take any other tube of color, even a red or a brown, add a bit to the green, and you have a new green, often a grayer green. Stairs (with shades of brown and tan) draw the viewer into the scene.

I started posting my artwork and some photos to Instagram – feel free to follow me on Instagram. I will continue to post my favorite artwork here on Sketching Out, because on a blog it feels more permanent (though what in life is really permanent). And there is more opportunity to discuss the artwork.

If you want a good watercolor book, I recommend David Bellamy’s Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting.

Old Market Photos: Apples, Walnuts and Spices in Mahane Yehuda

Mahane Yehuda apples
In December 2017 we visited the old market (known in Hebrew as a shuk) in Jerusalem called Mahane Yehuda. On a Friday the market is bustling: you can buy fruit, chocolate, wine, baked goods, fish, spices, meat and more! On a Saturday night the place converts into little bars and places to eat. We also visited on Saturday night, but because of the crowds and a broken oven in one restaurant, we ended eating a meal back on Emek Refaim Street, near where we were staying.

walnuts in Mahane Yehuda
My husband bought some wine and some nuts for our hosts that were visiting on Shabbat. My daughter bought some chocolate in a bag. Each little chocolate candy said: “Hatan v’ Kalah” – Groom and Bride. This was because our excuse for visiting Israel was the wedding of a relative. She gave the candies to her class members upon return to the U.S.

spices in Mahane Yehuda
I did not explore the spices carefully, but I am sure I would find some that are unfamiliar. The sign on the left by the rose spices says: “Please do not touch with your hands!!! Thank you!”

Have you ever visited an old market? What did you buy? What did you see?