2015 Summer CSA – Week 16

This is an Even Week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Albany & Atlanta.

The tale of the humble Aubergine.

The eggplant is native to an area stretching from India, travelling through Southeast Asia and finishing in southern China. Wild varieties can still be found throughout the region. It is a prominent vegetable in Asia & India, even being referred to as the “King of vegetables” in India. This vegetable has long been loved in various cultures, and is slowly making its way into the hearts and produce sections of major grocers.

As a child, I can recall the shape and imagery of an Eggplant, but had never been introduced to its flesh until I was in my early twenties eating Eggplant Parmesan at a wedding. Crazy in retrospect. My next encounter was last summer, we grew it as a crop, and sent it weekly to CSA. Figuring, I would need to know how to store, prepare, and cook with these dynamic globes, I ventured into the Eggplant waters.

Eggplant can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with it as I was.

Working with Aubergines:

*The fruit bitters over time, use it as freshly as possible.

*Salting is the key to removing excess moisture. Stuffing, and frying benefit from pre salting. When salting, cut the fruit into the desired shape (crosswise, lengthwise, disks, etc.), then spread a thin even layer of salt over the surface of the flesh, (allow to sit on a cutting board with paper towel, or in a colander over the sink. After 15-20min, remove the remaining salt using a towel to wipe it off.

*They develop a wonderful sweetness when roasted, (think how garlic changes when its roasted).

* Seeds & Skin are edible.


Two Fruits this Share!!! This week you will find two fruits in your share, depending on harvest you will find two of the following fruits: Apples, black berries, Watermelon, & Cantaloupe. This means there could be 2 cantaloupes, OR cantaloupe & apples, OR Watermelon & Cantaloupe, etc. Two Fruit shares will be in the CSA share this week!

Some Recipes to get you started, complements of Tim, from our Garden Crew. These are a few of his favorites linked to eggplant, try one of these this week!

Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

From Plenty by Yotam OttoLenghi (Serves 4)

Eggplant Sauce: ◊ 2/3 cup vegetable oil ◊ 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¾ in. dice ◊ 2 tsp tomato paste ◊ ¼ cup white wine ◊ 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned) ◊ 6 ½ tbsp water ◊ ¼ tsp salt ◊ ¼ tsp sugar ◊ 1 tbsp chopped oregano

Polenta: ◊ 6 ears corn ◊ 2 ¼ cups water ◊ 3 tbsp butter, diced ◊ 7 oz. feta crumbled ◊ ¼ tsp salt ◊ black pepper to taste

Eggplant Sauce Directions:

Step 1:        Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it. Add tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant. Cook for a couple of minutes, add wine and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside and warm when needed.

Polenta Directions:

Step1:         Remove leaves and “silk” from corn, chop off pointed end and stalk. Stand each ear upright on its base and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels. You want to have 1 ¼ lb of kernels.

Step 2:        Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cover them with the water. Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid. Process them for quite a few minutes to break as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process.

Step 3:        Return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to a mashed potato consistency. Fold in the butter, feta, slat and some pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Step 4:        Divide among shallow bowls and spoon warm eggplant sauce in the center.

Fried Eggplant

The Gift of Southern Cooking By Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis

Ingredients: ◊ 1 Large or 2 medium eggplant ◊ Kosher salt ◊ 1 egg, lightly beaten ◊ 1/3 cup buttermilk ◊ ¾ cup fine-ground white cornmeal ◊ 2 tbsp cornstarch ◊ ¾ tsp salt ◊ ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ◊ oil for frying (vegetable, canola or peanut)


Step 1:        Remove the stem end from eggplant. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/3 in. slices. If eggplant is large cut it crosswise. Sprinkle the slices generously on both sides with kosher salt, and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes.

Step 2:        Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Mix cornmeal, cornstarch, ¾ tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper on a piece of wax paper.

Step 3:        When the eggplant has finished draining, press the slices between 2 layers of pepper towel to remove any excess moisture. Heat 1 in. of oil in a heavy skillet until very hot, but not smoking – 350 F. Dip eggplant slices first in egg and drain off any excess; then dredge each slice carefully in the cornmeal mixture, making sure that it is completely coated and patting off any excess.

Step 4:        Fry eggplant in batches until it is crisp and a rich golden brown, 2-3 minutes on the first side and about 1 minute on the other. Remove the slices from the pan, allowing oil to drain from the slices into the pan before transferring to crumpled paper towels or a draining rack to drain further. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.


Frank Stitt’s Southern Table (Serves 4)

Ingredients: ◊ 2 eggplant cut lengthwise in half ◊ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste ◊ 1 ½ tsp olive oil ◊ 1 medium onion finely diced ◊ 2 galic cloves, finely chopped ◊ 2 zucchini, 1 shredded, 1 finely diced ◊ 1 cup cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and finely diced ◊ 1 tomato, seeded and cut into medium dice ◊ ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and chopped ◊ ½ bunch basil, leaves removed and chopped ◊ ½ cup medium coarse bread crumbs


Step 1:        With a sturdy spoon, scoop the flesh out of each eggplant half, leaving ¼ in. thick shells; reserve the shells. Sprinkle the inside of the shells with salt, invert onto a plate and let stand for 30 minutes. Dice the flesh and set aside.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 350

Step 3: Turn the eggplant shells over, pat dry and place on a baking sheet. Bake until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.

Step 4: Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, diced eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, parsley, basil and bread crumbs; stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Step 5: Fill the baked eggplant shells with the vegetable stuffing mounding it loosely. Bake for 20 minutes; serve hot.


The Art of Simple Food

By Alice Waters (Serves 6-8)

For a colorful ratatouille use different colored peppers, squash and tomatoes. Don’t hesitate to double this recipe, as any ratatouille is better the next day.

Ingredients: ◊ 1 medium eggplant cut into ½ in. cubes ◊ kosher salt ◊ 4 Tbs olive oil ◊ 2 medium onions cut into ½ in. dice ◊ 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped ◊ ½ bunch basil tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine ◊ 6 leaves basil, chopped ◊ A pinch of dried chili flakes ◊ 2 sweet peppers, cut into ½ in. dice◊ 3 medium summer squash, cut into ½ in. dice ◊ 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into ½ in. dice ◊ Extra virgin olive oil to finish


Step 1:        Toss eggplant cubes with salt, set in a colander and let drain for about 20 minutes. Heat 2 Tbs Olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove eggplant when done and set aside.

Step 2:        Pour in 2 more Tbs olive oil and add onions. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic and basil bouquet a pinch of salt and dried chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the sweet peppers, cook for a few more minutes then add the squash. Cook for a few more minutes and add tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in the eggplant and cook for 10-15 minutes more until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.

Step 3:        Stir in chopped basil and extra virgin olive oil to taste. Serve warm or cold.


Two Fruits this Share!!! This week you will find two fruits in your share, depending on harvest you will find two of the following fruits: Apples, black berries, Watermelon, & Cantaloupe. This means there could be 2 cantaloupes, OR cantaloupe & apples, OR Watermelon & Cantaloupe, etc. Two Fruit shares will be in the CSA share this week!

Organic Share List:

Eggplant (Aubergine): baba ghanoush, braised, baked goods, eggplant Parmesan, fried, grilled, kabob, marinated, moussaka, roasted, stuffed, tarts, & vegetarian cutlets

Storage: If using quickly, it can be left on the counter. If longer storage is required, place in crisper, no container.

Sage: Brown butter dishes, Brussels Sprouts, pasta, potatoes, rich & creamy dishes, roasted squash, sausage,

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

Cucumbers OR Squash: (Squash) bake, blacken, fry, grill, and roast, sauté, stuffed, (cukes) raw, pickled, salads, soups, & sandwiches.

Storage: Short term storage, keep on the counter 1-2 days. If longer storage required, dry off & place in crisper drawer.

Bunching Onions OR Leeks: braised, frittata, latkes, quiche, risotto, savory muffins, salads, soup/stew/stock.

Store: in the crisper drawer wrapped in a damp towel, or on the counter is a shallow dish of water.

Hot Peppers: blackened, marinade, pickled, salsa, stuffed.

Storage: Store unwashed peppers in a paper towel, wrap around each pepper and store in crisper drawer.

Sweet Peppers (Bell or Swt. Roasting): blackened, fresh, grilled, kabob, pepper jelly, raw, salad, sautéed, stir-fry, stuffed.

Storage: Store unwashed peppers in a paper towel, wrap around each pepper and store in crisper drawer.

Cut Flowers: Be Creative! (3Stems each)

Dill Flowers: Used for pickling: carrots, jalapenos, green beans, cabbage, fennel, green tomatoes, swiss chard stems, okra, and so many other vinegar favorites.

Storage: keep in glass of water, like fresh flowers, use quickly.

TWO of the Following: Cantaloupe, Watermelon, blackberries, Apples.

braised, garnish, gelato, popsicles, tart.

Storage: (melons) Short term storage, keep on the counter 1-2 days. If longer storage required, then remove rind, cut into cubes or slices and store in the fridge.

Okra OR Green Beans: fresh, braised, blanched, pan fried, baked, roasted, & pickled. (okra): baked, blackened, curry, fresh, fried, pickled, steamed, stews, stuffed

Storage: Remove from bag, store in a container with a damp cloth covering the beans, close lid slightly. (okra) Store in an airtight container wrapped in a dry towel. Bruises easily, eat soon!Beets OR Cabbage OR Carrots:

Beets OR Cabbage OR Carrots:braised, candied, cupcakes, juiced, pickled, roasted, smashed (cabbage) braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Storage: (carrots & Beets) Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops. (Cabbage)Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Kitchen | Tags: | Leave a comment

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