Sungold Cherry or Early Tomatoes
Summer Squash Mix
Romano Beans or Shishito Peppers
German White Garlic
Well this week’s share shows a total transformation from Spring into Summer. We have never seen the eggplant and early peppers come on so quickly. Not that you cannot have them in late June or early July but we do not push for these crops to come on early, instead opting for a more balanced transition; but this year due to some of the weather patterns they came on quick once they flowered. The tomatoes on the other hand, we make effort to get in early and have by mid June and this year (likely due to weather, the swings of cooler weather with low nighttime temps) they have been coming on very slow. The plants are big and bountiful with a lot of green fruit; but ripening has been slow. The tomatoes that have ripened though are very large, dense, and tasty. It is amazing how each season offers a little something different and from communication with fellow farmers we are able to determine what is from broad weather patterns versus soil or management practices on our individual farm. Anyhow we are happy about the unseasonably temperate weather over this past weekend, the break in humidity and cool nights can be rejuvenating and entirely unexpected. We hope you all are enjoying this holiday weekend spending as much time outdoors as possible. So even if it means the tomato deluge is a little late this year, we are sure it will still happen and this week you finally get a little taste. We have a load of recipes below; but most of these items are also great simply roasted or grilled with a little pesto drizzled on top to keep it simple. We hope you enjoy this jump into summer …..Brian and Autumn
Zaalouk (Spicy Eggplant Salad) The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
1 ½ lb eggplant, peeled and cubed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3 large tomatoes (about 1 ½ lbs)
4 Tbls argan oil or mild extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbls wine vinegar
½ tsp harissa or a mixture paprika &ground chili pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Boil the eggplants with the garlic in plenty of salted water, in a pan covered with a lid, for about 30 minutes or until they are very soft. Drain and chop the eggplants and garlic in a colander, then mash them with a fork, pressing all the water out.
Put the tomatoes in the emptied pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Mix with the mashed eggplants and the rest of the ingredients and add salt.
Variation: Add the juice of 1 lemon (instead of the vinegar) and 1 tsp ground caraway or coriander.
Eggplant in a Spicy Honey Sauce –The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
The sauce is a splendid example of the hot, spicy, and sweet combinations; which are a thrilling feature of North African cooking. Serve it cold with bread.
2 medium-large eggplants
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 inches fresh gingerroot, grated, or cut into pieces
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
large pinch cayenne or ground chili pepper, to taste
4-6 Tbls honey
juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup water
Cut the eggplants into rounds about 1/3” thick. Do not peel them. Dip them in olive oil, turning them over, and cook on a griddle or under a broiler, turning them over once, until they are lightly browned. They do not need to be soft, as they will cook further in the sauce. In a wide saucepan or skillet, fry the garlic in 2 Tbls of the oil for seconds only, stirring, then take off the heat. Add the ginger, cumin, and cayenne or gorund chili pepper, honey, lemon juice, and water. Put in the eggplant slices and cook over low heat –either in batches, so they are in one layer, or together, rearranging them so that each slice gets some time in the sauce –for about 10 minutes, or until the slices are soft and have absorbed the sauce. Add a little water if necessary.