Since Thursday we’ve been in high gear prep-ping for frost tonight. We’ve gotten the high tunnels battened down, endwalls are back in place, doors will be shut. Out in the field we’ve been covering a few of the more delicate crops with a row cover, watermelon, below:
and basil, here, (yes, Laura M., this is mostly for you)
The prediction is for 30 degrees, from approx 12 midnight all the way until 9am. (We are often just a few degrees colder than most weather forecasts come in.) The skies are predicted to be clea, and no wind. Perfect conditions for killing frost. (If the meteorologists are wrong about tonight, I’d be plenty pleased. As long as it’s warmer than predicted.)
I’ve harvested quite a batch of watermelons. Hoping to store these well for Tuesday. Have covered another batch in the field (that’s the picture above). The basil I have direct seeded is just so near to harvest size, if we can save it, I really would like to (it’s covered in one of the pictures above too). Neither the watermelon nor the basil have gone to the CSA, so I’m kind of really wanting to hold onto those for next week.
examples of this week’s full share crates
in your crate
winterbor kale (click recipes, then scroll down)
hot peppers (czech black or jalapeno)
tatsoi (full shares only)
kohlrabi (full shares only)
Here’s some eggplant info, gleaned from From Asparagus to Zucchini, MACSAC 2004.
- To remove any acrid flavors and excess moisture, lightly salt slices of eggplant and allow them to sit in a colander for 10-15 minutes. Gently squeeze out any liquid. Eggplant will now soak up less oil and need less salt in preparation.
- to bake: prick all over with fork. bake at 400 degrees until flesh is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Flesh can be pureed.
- to stuff: bake 20 minutes, scoop out seeds, replace with stuffing. return to oven 15 minutes.
- to saute: dip slices or chunks in flour or eggs and bread crumbs before sauteing. saute in hot oil until light brown. season with herbs, garlic, grated cheese, etc.
- to steam: whole eggplant will steam over an inch of water: 15-30 minutes. Use the flesh for pulp, or season with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper, or cover in a tomato sauce.
- Blend cooked eggplant with lemon juice and seasonings of choice for a dip or spread.
- Grill slices along with other vegetables, such as peppers, or skewer and grill along with other shish kabob ingredients
here’s a little note from Kate: This roasted eggplant dip is a nice change from hummus and from my experience will be eaten by people who would not normally eat eggplant (my husband and mother-in-law to name two).
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
With a paring knife make slits in the eggplant and stuff garlic cloves into the slits, I use 6-10 garlic cloves depending on the size of eggplant. Large garlic cloves can be cut into 2-3 slivers. Put the eggplant on a roasting pan and place in the oven for about an hour, until the skins are dark and the flesh is soft. Let the eggplant cool. Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the flesh into a colander to press out the excess liquid (honestly, I skip this step). Put the flesh in a food processor and add to your liking:
2-4 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed butter)
1-4 additional garlic cloves
1-6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
other possible ingredients:
roasted red peppers or tomatoes
Process until smooth. Garnish with olive oil and parsley.
Serve with pita, cut up vegetables, pretzel sticks, etc.