Saturday, July 17, 2010

The bounty has begun!

One simple recipe, and then what to do with an eggplant...

A simple Greek Salad:

1/3 tomatoes, cut in big wedges
1/3 cucumbers, big slices (note: if you can keep the skins on, I just learned that's where most of the healthiness is.)
1/3 lettuces
Add some feta
and olives, if desired...
And the red onions might work well, too.

Dressing is a combo of 1/2 olive oil, 1/2 red wine vinegar, and a little garlic, if desired.  Always nice if it can be chilled for a couple hours...

And, then, dealing with eggplant...
Firstly, let me say that eggplant scared me until I joined a CSA and then had to deal with them, they always seemed bitter and chewy...but then my former farmer filled me in...

Firstly, use them within the first few days of getting them... To prepare, I slice them 1/3 of inch thick and then sprinkle salt on them and let them sit for twenty minutes to pull out the moisture.  I then wipe them down with a paper towel.  That seems to cut down on the bitterness.

For the chewiness, I brush them with olive oil and broil until they brown a little on either side and get a softer consistency.  Then, I throw them in whatever recipe I choose to use.

And the recipe I choose: Thai Spicy Eggplant with Sweet Basil, from Vegetarian Times

1 cup jasmine rice
2 Tbs. peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, or to taste
3 baby eggplants, cubed into bite-sized chunks
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbs. white vinegar
3 Tbs. dark soy sauce, such as tamari
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

  1. Cook jasmine rice according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet or wok-shaped pan over high heat. Add oil and crushed red pepper, and let sizzle for 10 to 15 seconds. Add eggplant, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, and stir-fry for 3 minutes more. Add vinegar and soy sauce. Sprinkle with sugar, and toss for 1 or 2 minutes longer.
  3. Remove pan from heat, add basil leaves and toss to combine with eggplant. Serve over hot cooked rice.

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