Today, while I was staffing the Lowell Farmers’ Market, I was reminded that I haven’t updated in a long while – hi, Michele – this one’s for you!
I’ll start with this week’s CSA share – it’s week nine, smack dab in the middle of the season. We got:
- Sweet potato greens
- Collard greens
- Summer squash
- Asian cucumber
- Yellow cucumber
- New potatoes
- Spring onions
- Cherry tomatoes
- Slicing Tomatoes
Tuesday was a hot and sunny day at the farm, but my shift ended with a black sky and crazy thunderstorms – just about my favorite type of weather (except, of course, for a winter nor’easter).
Lovely cherry tomatoes. We also got slicing tomatoes which have been hard to come by because of the late blight.
The pick-your-own garden has bloomed like crazy!
While I was at the farm Matthew, the CSA and Farmers’ Market Coordinator, called me up and asked if I could cover the market this week because he had something important to do. I said yes, and that’s how I spent this afternoon. It was hard work but a lot of fun – it was amazing to see how many people visit the market!
The cooking demo for this week was done by Steve Brogan, a professional chef who has his own show, Cooking on a Matchstick, on LTC (Lowell’s local access station). Steve made three dishes, a toasted beet salad, fried zucchini and sweet and sour eggplant. All three were delicious but I fell in love with the eggplant.
I am, as you may have guessed, a huge fan of vegetables. I like them all but, as with anything, there are some that I like more than others. Eggplant falls in to the category called “I don’t love it.” When Steve made this eggplant dish at the market I tried it but I didn’t expect to love it – famous last words – I enjoyed it so much that I ate two helpings at the market and came home and made my version for supper. I say my version because the recipe wasn’t on Steve’s site when I got home, so I improvised.
First I started some rice. Then I made the sauce – rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and honey…
Then I prepared my veggies – CSA eggplant, spring onions and garlic…
The veggies went into the pan with some toasted sesame oil – the oil has a very low smoking point, so be careful!
Then I added some sesame seeds…
And then the sauce…
I let the sauce simmer down until the rice was finished…
Served it over rice, and dug in! (I had a hard time taking a picture of the finished dish – my mouth was watering!)
Sweet & Sour Eggplant
Recipe adapted from Steve Brogan – I would check his site for his recipe, I was pretty much dumping, stirring and tasting ’til I got it right.
- Rice wine vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 small spring onion or shallot
- 1 large clove of garilc
- Sesame seeds
Cook the rice. Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and red pepper flakes – taste it as you go – I would say I started with a third cup of vinegar and went from there. Chop the eggplant into bite-sized pieces, thinly slice the onion and garlic. Sauté the vegetables in 3 tablespoons of sesame oil until they begin to brown. Add the sesame seeds to the pan, shake the pan and brown the eggplant on the other side. Once the eggplant is brown, add some salt and the sauce. Let the sauce reduce until it is dark brown and thick (by half, I’d say). Serve over rice. Ginger would also probably be great in this dish.
And now, if you’ve managed to read this far, you’ll get to hear my confession. (Do you like how I did that?) I have been, for the past three weeks or so, a huuuuuuge slacker about updating my $60 a week tallies. AND, not only have I been a slacker, I also managed to toss my pile or receipts in a frantic cleaning fit. Not only did I do that but I am also going to be spending more than $60 next week – I’m heading down to the Cape with Yovani and Katy, we’re going to go shopping an cook while we’re there, leaving Gist to fend for herself in the kitchen while I’m away.
So that’s my confession. I have some back-logged recipes that I am hoping to post while I am away, but I wouldn’t hold your breath – I have three Sookie Stackhouse books to bring with me and I could fall into a southern gothic vampire mystery black hole (which sounds kind of nice, actually). There also won’t be any CSA update next week – Gist has the privilege of staffing the farm while I am away.
So that’s the scoop – I hope everyone has an excellent week!
Oh, one other thing – there was no UTEC Fresh Roots baked goods delivery this week – their kitchen was unavailable so we got some gorgeous fresh flowers instead.
Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 12:21 am
Man, oh man, those Cherry Tomatoes look devine! I am also not an eggplant fan, but that looks super tasty. My hubby enjoys eggplant, so this might be a good dish for us. Looks like you’ll have great weather while on the Cape. What town are you heading to? Have fun!
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