CSA Harvest # 14: Sept 24 & 26

Spectacular Eggplant

“I am a painter, and there is not a single eggplant that I haven’t lusted over the color of, or a pepper I haven’t looked at as a work of art” (a quote from Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables).

I know, I know… I’m close to over-photographing eggplant… Just a couple more for you to enjoy though:

eggplant sept 26 2013

eggplant sept 26, 2013

eggplant sept 2013

eggplant in field, sept 2013

yet another eggplant in field sept 2013

yet again eggplant in field

eggplant flowering in field 2013

eggplants

 

to view some more September farm photos, click here (some of those photos won’t even be eggplant)

 

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

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Most people’s complaints about eggplant, mine included, have to do with the texture. Kate has thinly sliced eggplant then pan fried. This creates a nice, crisp slice with a crunchy surface. It’s nice as a patty, especially on a sandwich with all your favorite toppings (enough toppings and you won’t even know the eggplant is there any more – hint, hint). Hope you enjoy this, it’s one of my favorite ways top eat eggplant.  ~chris swier

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Baba Ghanoush, recipe

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

2-3 eggplant

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:

cayenne pepper

cumin

paprika

roasted red peppers or tomatoes

 

Process until smooth.  Garnish with olive oil and parsley.

Serve with pita, cut up vegetables, pretzel sticks, etc.

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Broiled Eggplant

with crunchy parmesan crust

from Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables

This is such an easy way to make a crunchy-crusted eggplant appetizer that you may even feel guilty about the raves it receives…. Recipe tester Barbara suggests topping this dish with tomato sauce.

Oil for greasing the baking sheet

mayonnaise

eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch slices

freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (about 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. Spread mayonnaise sparingly on both sides of each eggplant slice, then dip the slices in the grated Parmesan, thoroughly coating both sides.

3. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the slices and broil until golden brown and crunchy on top and the eggplant is soft, about 3 minutes more.

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Sauteed Eggplant Salad

with Red Wine Vinegar and Tomato Dressing

from Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables

Serves 4

2 large eggplant, cubed

2 tablespoons salt

1/3 cup mild-flavored olive oil

1 cup tomato puree

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1. Put the eggplant cubes in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the cubes. Stir in the salt; let stand for 1 hour.

2. Drain the eggplant and gently squeeze the cubes to remove any excess water.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant; saute, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to a plate.

4. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato puree to the remaining hot oil in the skillet. Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar. simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, then gently stir in the eggplant. Simmer for 5 more minutes. remove the skillet from the heat.

5. Set the skillet aside and let the flavors develop at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Stir before serving. Serve at room temperature.

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in your crate

watermelon

salad mix

arugula

tatsoi (full crates only)

garlic

winterbor kale

sweet anaheim peppers

eggplant

 

this week, your full share crate might’ve looked like this (w/o the 2 watermelons, that is)

full share, w/o 2 watermelons, Sept 26 2013

or

full share CSA crate, w/o 2 watermelons, Sept 26 2013

 

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