Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh This Week

  • Eggplant
  • Garlic (maybe the last week)
  • Raspberries (every week now!)
  • Mountain rose potatoes (red skin with red swirl inside)
  • Carrot
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Hot and green peppers

From Farmer Rick

Please submit fall CSA forms and payment soon. Checks are payable to Summer Creek Farm, and you can mail them with your forms to: 15209 Mud College Road, Thurmont, MD 21788.

Current members get first shot for the fall. Slots are limited so I can make sure I have enough produce for all. Fall is coming and we are very busy planting. Tomatoes have really slowed with all the cool weather. Soon will be hard squash and sweet potatoes. Please let us know about the fall CSA soon so we can plan. Enjoy the bounty!


Although we most often see the oblong dark purple kind, there are dozens of eggplant varieties. Smaller eggplants contain fewer seeds and are less likely to be bitter. Choose very firm eggplants with green stems (an indicator of freshness) for best taste.

Store eggplants in the refrigerator and use them as soon as possible. Although the outside appearance remains the same, the inside can become soft and bitter within a few days.

To prepare, trim the stem end. Peeling is optional, but not necessary. You may want to salt eggplant before using in a recipe, to remove bitterness. To salt, slice the eggplant as indicated in the recipe. Sprinkle liberally with salt and let rest in a colander for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then rinse, pat dry and proceed with recipe.

Eggplants are tasty roasted, grilled, broiled, sautéed or stir-fried.

Source: How to Cook Everything, 2008 edition, by Mark Bittman

Recipe Feature

Penne with Eggplant & Mozzarella
adapted from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Serves 4 to 6. Takes nearly 2 hours, including cooking time.
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds eggplant
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 1 pound penne or macaroni, cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Slice the eggplant into rounds ½ inch thick, then into ½-inch-wide strips. Salt and set aside while you make the sauce.

Warm 1 ½ tablespoons oil in medium skillet. Add onion, thyme and pepper flakes, and cook over medium heat until the onion has softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 4 more minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375°. Oil a 3-quart baking dish. Pat the eggplant dry. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet, add eggplant and cook over medium heat until golden and tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and toss with basil. Mix the eggplant with tomato sauce, cooked pasta and cheeses in the baking dish, cover with foil and bake 35 minutes.

Link of the week

Real People Eat Local – companion site to Edible Chesapeake magazine

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