Day Nine, Our First Hanami!

Hanami literally means “flower viewing”, however, it commonly refers only to cherry blossom viewing. Cherry blossom viewing is easy: simply enjoy the intensity of the many blossoms by looking at a single tree or a group of trees and eat good food. I made Petite Kitchen’s gluten and refined-sugar free cheesecake topped with 100% cherry jam, My New Root’s Life-Changing Loaf, hummus, babaganoush/eggplant dip (recipe below) and a simple pasta salad with tuna, blue-cheese stuffed olives, red onion, parsley and cherry tomatoes. My beautiful friend Mina prepared a vegetable frittata, brown rice, carrot, mushroom and soybean onigiri (rice ball), rice-paper rolls, semi-dried bananas, a tomato salad and cut fruit. It was all so good. I am so happy. Happy one year Japanniversary to me! <3

PS: Just like that, sakura carpets, already!

1 large eggplant
2 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves

Optional toppings: a handful of skinned then roasted pistachio nuts, some sesame seeds, and a small dollop of extra virgin olive oil.

You’re going to take me as a fool but I’m not kidding, honto (really in Japanese). Place the eggplant as is in a toaster oven or normal oven on high heat (mine goes up to 220) until burnt on the outside and squishy on the inside. Don’t fret the burnt skin, it’s what gives this dip its smoke.

When cooled, scoop out the insides and blitz alongside remaining ingredients (excluding toppings – well, duh) in a food processor or in batches, in a blender like moi. Das all. Top with toppings and enjoy with bread, cut veggies, grissini or what have you!


  1. That sure is SOME picnic :D Ah I wish I could be in Japan right now and go do hanami as well. We walked past our local Japanese embassy the other day to see if their cherry trees were blossoming already, but they weren’t even budding yet.

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      1. Thanks! I’m in Fukuoka for about 4 weeks now. Then 3 weeks Kyoto, 3 weeks somewhere near mt. Fuji and 3 weeks Tokyo! I can only stay 90 days. :( I wish I could stay longer some day!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohhhh 90 days is still a long time! I’m sure you’ll make the most of it! I can’t wait to hear of your adventures! Of course you’re welcome to visit Anisa’s kitchen hehe in Ohara, Okayama.

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      3. Yep, true! I’ll definitely make the most of the ‘short’ time I’m here! Hehe, they probably won’t be as spectacular as yours, but feel free to follow! ^^ Aww, arigatou!! I just checked maps, is it the place in between Tottori and Himeji? I’m going to Tottori for one or two days so I might make it there. That would be so awesome! Your food always looks so delicious! ^^

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