Week 9, 2016

You MAY have these things: eggplant, corn, lettuce, summer squash of some variety or color, tomatoes, peppers, chard or beets or kale…

The tomatoes are beautiful right now, so enjoy! It’s tomato time. CSA members get the great price of $25/box of gorgeous tomatoes (about 22#). We may have some on hand at your pickup, or email me to get extra sent to you.

Eggplants have arrived! The crop is significantly diminished (as with the peppers) but we are sharing what we’ve got!

About Eggplant We grow a lot of eggplant 😉

Clockwise: Nubia/Zebra, Classic, Tango/White Star, Purple BLush/Rosa Bianca, Orient Express, Machia

Clockwise: Nubia/Zebra, Classic, Tango/White Star, Purple BLush/Rosa Bianca, Orient Express, Machia

Now, right away, I have to tell you if you have never liked eggplant, and never tried ours, you have to try it again. As usual, the freshness and variety of our product simply tastes better than anything you have ever bought at the grocery store. Also, I have found that with eggplants, in particular, most people’s experience involves bitter, old, seedy eggplants that are cooked in a lot of grease. AND, who likes anything that is bitter and old? Thank you to all the members reading this that have humored me in the past and tried eggplant again. For the success stories (which is a large percentage) – yeah! For those who still don’t care for it, thanks for playing and you know you can swap your eggplant out for more greens or potatoes or what have you.

Varieties: the basic dark purple ‘Classic’, the original white skinned (thus the name ‘eggplant’) ‘Tango’ – a very tender, white fleshed variety; Purple Blush – white to lilac skinned large softballs and a farm favorite; Neon – a magenta skinned elongated egg shape; Zebra/Nubia – a magenta-purple striped with white; Round Mauve an heirloom variety – pinkish-purple skin and round, Bride – slim, light rose with white stripes; Green Apple- as it name suggests in appearance only, Rosa Bianca an heirloom variety- round with rosy-lavender streaks. Then there’s the Asian types: Little Fingers and Orient Express– dark purple skinned, long cylindrical; Oriental Charm, the pink version of Orient Express; Machiaw – magenta, very long, and skinny. Well, what’s what?  At first sampling, the Purple Blush, Rosa Bianca and the white are distinctly tender and always sweet; they also cook faster. I recently fell in love with the Machiaw grilled (just slice them in half the long way, drizzle with oil and balsamic, coarse salt, grill on each side till tender. The others really have to be sampled side by side, and yes, they are different. We hope you can have fun with them as we do: baking, sautéing, grilling….

eggplants zebra, classicPictures and lots of eggplant recipes on the blog! Ratatouille?

Baked Eggplant

This is the house fall back method for cooking eggplants. Even my children prepare this and everyone loves it.

  • Eggplant
  • mayonnaise
  • Grated parmesan
  • s&p to taste

Slice eggplants 1/3” thick (the long way or the round way), lay on greased baking sheet, spread mayonnaise on top (not too thin, not too thick), sprinkle with lots of parmesan, S&P to taste. Bake in hot (400) oven for 10 mins, or until fork tender. Everyone has time for this recipe!

Over the years I have had very good luck freezing the above recipe. Make all you want, then slide as many of the cooked eggplants onto a baking sheet, let them snuggle if you like, and then freeze. After they are frozen, you can transfer to another container or freezer bag. Reheat on a baking sheet at 350 until hot; you’ll never know they were frozen! ~Also great with your favorite tomato sauce on pasta or on a sandwich.

Curried eggplant with tomatoes and basil
(from Real Simple – ever so slightly modified)

  • 1cup basmati rice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, cut up
  • 1eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt (preferably Greek), optional
  1. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rice, 1 ½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir the rice once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chickpeas and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove the vegetables from heat and stir in the basil. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the vegetables over the rice with yogurt, if using.

Farm Dirt

Well, no new updates to make about rain…none since last Monday. I do see real rain on the forecast for tomorrow (Wednesday) and that would be welcome.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed or FB telling us how much you are enjoying CSA and also that you appreciate what nice things are in the box every week, in spite of the drought. I read an article in the Globe about some of our friends struggles this year and noted the Ag Commissioner (who I like and respect immensely) stated farmers would pay their bills off by the end of the year but that there wouldn’t be much left. Sadly, that is not true. Many farmer’s will not be able to pay their bills off this year and there will be a very large hole left to dig out of. The article did accurately represent the real situation of spending massive amounts of time moving pipe, instead of weeding or pruning, decreased or lost yields, loss in quality, etc. yet we all still have to pay our help (of course), and for all the seeds and supplies that were necessary to plant in the first place. No, there won’t be enough to pay the bills. Our dairy friends are worse off than us. The price of milk dropped from $26/cwt to $14/ctw and many are feeding out hay already because the pastures are barren. They are losing money every day L

Meanwhile, we continue to say positive things to the press, lest the bad news keep people away from farmer’s markets. (SILVER LINING ALERT!)

Truly, what we are sending to market or putting in the CSA boxes is the best in the state, and we are thankful for that. As always, you are welcome to the farm to wander, pick, picnic, bird & insect watch…

Eat well, Geneviève Stillman

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