Tuscan Kale or Broccoli Raab
Gypsy Cubanelle Peppers
Paprika & Aleppo Peppers
This past week has brought weather we have never experienced in Virginia, a small reminder of how recently we have arrived. In our 4 years, this is definitely the wettest week we have seen during our growing season. Likely we will experience some long-term damage to a portion of our fall and winter crops, but it was not nearly as bad a storm has we were anticipating and we still have lots of vegetables in need of harvesting. As you may notice there are eggplant and peppers again, as they both thrive in the early fall weather, and have even remained hardy during our monsoon week. Eggplant seems to be a crop that many enjoy but tire of cooking pretty quickly. But it is a wonderfully meaty and dense vegetable that can be used in a diversity of ways, especially when you look a Middle Eastern, Indian, and Italian cusine. Below we have added many different options, most quick to make and delicious on a cool fall evening. The Paprika and Aleppo peppers are not dried or made into a flake or powder, as one would commonly find them, but rather coming to you fresh. They can be used in small amounts to season dishes, as they are a bit spicy, anything braised or sautéed with tomatoes, frankly all of the cooked recipes below would benefit from a slight mince of these spicy, warm chiles. This will be your last portion of romano beans and basil for the season so enjoy them while it lasts…Brian and Autumn
Green Beans in Tomato Sauce – The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking by Claudia Roden
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2 Tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ lb ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ lb green beans, topped and talied and cut into 2-3 pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
juice of ¼ lemon
Fry the onion in oil till soft and golden. Add the garlic, and when the aroma arises, add the tomatoes and beans. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar, add water as necessary to cover the beans, and lemon juice, simmering 15-20 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the sauce reduced a little.
Eggplant Caviar – The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking by Claudia Roden
¾ lb Eggplant
2 Tbls Olive Oil
Juice of 1/4lemon, or more to taste
Broil the eggplant: prick the eggplants in a few places with a pointed knife. Turn them under a broiler until the skin is black and blistered and they feel very soft. When cool enough to handle, peel, letting the pieces fall into a colander with tiny holes, then chop with a pointed knife and mash to a puree with a fork or a wooden spoon, so that the juices escape through the holes of the colander.
Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and beat in the oil and lemon juice and some salt. Variations:
Syrian – mix in 1 Tbls pomegranate molasses instead of lemon juice, 1 crushed garlic clove and 2 Tbls chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Moroccan – 1 crushed galic clove, ¼ tsp harissa or a pinch of cayenne, and a ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp ground cumin, and a ½ Tbls chopped cilantro
Eggplant Salad – add 2 Tbls chopped parsley, 1 chopped tomato, 2 chopped scallions, and a 1/2finely chopped chile pepper.