Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What to Do WIth Your Share---Week 9

Eat Your Eggplant
There are several vegetables that we often take extra time trying to "sell" to the CSA, from greens to kohlrabi. Eggplant also falls into that category.

Perhaps the most beautiful vegetable we grow, eggplant is a favorite all over the world. It is said that there are more recipes for eggplant than any other vegetable. Many people are unfamiliar with it and how to cook it though (besides eggplant parmesan). The one bit of advice that we often give is to cook it to the tenderness of mushrooms, as undercooked eggplant can be a real turnoff. We have some of the best looking plants we have had in some time this year, and expect to have nice supply this summer.

In addition to proper cooking, it is important to know that you should ignore any recipes that call for peeling your eggplant. We pick the eggplant at a size smaller than what you may normally see in the grocers or market. This keeps it tender, with less seeds in the pulp. Many recipes also call for salting eggplant to remove bitterness. This is also not necessary with those in your share. The Italian eggplants and the Asian varieties (the long, skinny ones) require only that you cut or peel off the green stem cap. The recipe below is for one of the tastiest eggplant dishes you will ever make. A friend of ours, Kate Garland, made it for a dinner several years ago and shared the recipe with us (not sure what cookbook it was).

Marinated Eggplant
2 medium eggplant, cut into rounds or bite size pieces
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3 tbsp raisins
2 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
Large pinch dried pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler to high. Rub the eggplant with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Broil for 10 minutes or until tender, stirring once.

To make the marinade, put the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, cloves, tomato, pine nuts, raising, sugar and bay leaf in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Place the hot eggplant in an earthenware or glass bowl and pour the marinade over. Allow to cool, remove the cloves and bay leaf. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Bulk Order List (week of July 6)
Kale - $3.00/bunch
Swiss chard - $3.00 per bunch
Carrots - $3.00/bunch
Green onions - $2.50/bunch
Walla Walla onions $3.00/bunch
Oregano, basil, mint, dill flowers $2.oo/bunch
Beets $3.00/qt We have medium size and small (golf ball) size beets. You also have a choice of standard purple beets or Chioggas (bright red and white inside)
Summer squashcucumbers-lg $1.25 ea
Summer sq/cucumbers-med $0.75 ea
Summer sq-small $3.25/qt
Dried herbs $2.00/tin
(thyme, marjoram, dried hot peppers, lovage, lavendar flowers, coriander, oregano, rosemary)

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