This blog post is taken directly from our Groundswell Farm Cookbook. Enjoy!
Solanacie & the Abundance of the sun
One of the most beautiful plants in the garden- the eggplants themselves are amazingly large, hanging orbs and have an ancient and majestic aura to them. But what can you dowith this bland and sometimes slimy and distasteful vegetable? A heat lover, the eggplant is grown in Arab countries and from there we get some great recipes.
Cooking tips: Do cook, cooking eliminates a toxic substance called solanine.
To sauté: Try dipping slices or chunks in flour or eggs and breadcrumbs before sautéing.
Sauté in hot oil until light brown. Season with herbs, garlic, grated cheese, etc.
Nutrients: Cooked, 1 cup diced– 38 calories, 2 g protein, 4.5 g fiber, 8.2 g carbs., 20 IU Vitamin A, 6 mg Vitamin C, 22 mg Calcium, 24.6 mg Magnesium, 1.08 mg Iron, .5 mg Zinc, 2 mg Sodium, 496 mg Potassium.
Baba Ganouj: an eggplant dip
From Anna: You can bake, grill or roast the eggplant, but grilling or roasting over hot coals will make for the best flavor. 40 minutes to prepare.
a little oil, for the baking sheet 1 medium (7 inch) eggplant
2 medium cloves garlic, minced . cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini black pepper and cayenne, to taste
olive oil and minced parsley (for garnish) 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise,and place face-down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until very tender. Cool until it’s comfortable to handle.
2. Scoop out the eggplant pulp, and discard the skin. Place the pulp in a food processor or blender, and add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and salt. Puree until smooth. (An alternative is to mash by hand, leaving the eggplant a little chunky.)
3. Transfer to an attractive serving dish, cover tightly, and chill. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with minced parsley just before serving with crackers or toasted pita bread.
Ginger Sesame Eggplant
1 medium eggplant 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
olive oil 1 T rice or wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 T. peeled, grated ginger 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 T. sesame seed oil 2 T. chopped cilantro
1. Coat 1 medium eggplant with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees until soft. Allow to cool, then peel, pull apart into 1/2 inch pieces and mix with any juices that have accumulated.
2. Combine garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Sauté together until translucent. Toss with eggplant chunks and season with hot sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and cilantro.
Japanese Braised Eggplant
From New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 T molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 oz. tempeh, cubed
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 t ground fennel seeds
1/4 t cayenne
1 t ground coriander seeds
1 green pepper, diced
4 cups sliced mushrooms (1 lb.)
3 T tomato paste
salt to taste
toasted sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Leaving the stems on, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Mix together the sherry, soy sauce and molasses. Oil a baking pan, pour the sherry mixture into the pan, place the eggplant halves, cut side down, and cover it tightly and bake at 350F for 45 minutes, until tender.
3. Brown the cubed tempeh, 1/2 cup of the onions and 1 t of the fennel in oil for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Turn off heat and add 1/4 t cayenne.
4. In a separate pan, sauté the remaining 2 cups onions, the coriander and the remaining teaspoon of the fennel until the onions are translucent. Add the pepper and the mushrooms and sauté another 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
5. With a slotted spoon, lift the tempeh and onions from the oil and stir them into the sautéed vegetables. Stir in the tomato paste and 2 T of the braising liquid from the eggplant baking pan. Salt the filling to taste.
6. Turn the eggplant halves over in the baking pan. With a fork or spoon, carefully mash the pulp a little and then push into the sides, making a hollow in each half and taking care not to break the skins. Fill each hollow with one-fourth of the filling. Cover the pan tightly and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, until piping hot.
7. Serve on a bed of rice, pour some juice from the pan over the eggplant and sprinkle with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds
Melons & Watermelons
You know how to enjoy these. Store melons in the fridge or in a cool spot until you cut them.
Nutrients: Fresh, slice 1” thick and 10” diameter has 152 calories, 2.97 g of protein, 9.6 g fiber, 1762 IU Vitamin A, 46.5 mg Vitamin C, 38 mg Calcium, 52 mg Magnesium, 10mg Sodium, 560 mg potassium.
Spicy Melon Salsa
From Margie Kuhn
2 cups watermelon chunks
2 cups cantaloupe chunks
Juice from 1/2 a lime (or lemon)
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped finely
1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Let sit for 1/2 hour before serving.
a) Feel free to adjust amount of jalapeno pepper up or down to suit taste;
b) Can substitute canned jalapeno peppers;
c) Can substitute and/or add honey-dew melon.
d) Can add some fresh cilantro.
I have a hard time cooking anything without onion as a base. Heat up the oil, throw in a chopped onion and smell the juices released as it sizzles. Onions are classic for creating flavor. Red onions are great marinated in limejuice, rinsed and eaten raw on sandwiches and in salads. The sweet Walla Walla variety can also be eaten raw.
Nutrients: Cooked 1 cup sliced, 60 Calories, 3 g protein, 2.8 g fiber, 12.2 g Carbs., 35 IU Vit. A, 15 mg Vit. C, 50 mg Calcium, 10.5 mg Magnesium, 15 mg Sodium, 231 mg potassium
French Onion Soup
From Too Many Tomatoes by Lois M. Burrows and Laura G. Myers “There should be no
shortcuts on the croutons! Good croutons are trouble, but worth the effort.”
8 Medium onions, chopped
4 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 Cups water
2 Cups beef or vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper, freshly ground, to taste
4 French rolls, or 12 slices French bread
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 Cups grated Swiss cheese
6 tablespoons port wine (or cooking wine or almost any wine around will do)
1. Cook onions gently in butter until blond. Add flour. Cook, stirring, until golden and sizzling.
2. Pour in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and stir. Add broth and seasonings. Boil 10 minutes.
3. Trim crusts, slice bread, and then quarter each slice. Brown each side under broiler.
4. Rub croutons with garlic.
5. Pour hot soup into 6 ovenproof bowls. Top with croutons. Cover with cheese. Broil until cheese melts.
6. Lift crust of soup, and pour 1 T. port into each bowl.
Cucumber – Onion Salad
From Margie Kuhn
1/2 red onion – sliced thin
2 cucumbers – sliced thin
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Mix dressing ingredients
2. Pour over onion and cucumber slices; mix.
3. Let rest for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
Every year, I freeze peppers and use them in any cooked dish. I dice most for stir fries and julienne others to sauté for fajitas. Then, I put them on a flat dish like a cookie tray or cake pan and set them in the freezer for about a half hour to pre-freeze. When they are no longer wet or damp to the touch, I quickly fill up freezer baggies and stack them in the freezer. This is one of my favorite ingredients in the winter, and it’s the easiest 10 minute meal to throw together a few frozen veggies for a quick sauté. This year, I experimented with dehydrating the peppers before freezing them, but I won’t try them for a month or so.
Nutrients: Sweet, green raw, 1 average size– 14.8 calories, 1.04 g fiber, 2.59 g carbohydrate, 306 IU Vitamin A, 94.7 mg Vitamin C, 6.9 mg Calcium, 13 mg Magnesium, 8.88 mg Sodium, 148 mg Potassium
Balkan Grilled Pepper Salad
From The New Moosewood Cookbook
4 T olive oil
1 – 2 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1 small red onion
2 large green peppers and 2 large red
10 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
10 olives, oil-cured, Greek or kalamata
1 T fresh oregano leaves
2/3 cup feta cheese, for garnish
1. Roast the peppers directly over a medium-high flame on a gas stove or just over the coals on a grill until the skins are blacked. To peel, run peppers under cold water and remove skin. Then, core and cut the peppers into . inch wide strips.
2. In a serving bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add onion, tomatoes, olives, and oregano leaves. Toss well. Cover and marinate peppers for 2 hours at room temperature.
3. Just before serving, taste and correct the seasoning and transfer to a shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with feta and serve with a crusty loaf of bread.
1 lb. steak, beef or venison
1 t paprika
1 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4- 1/2 cup lime juice
2 T tamari, soy sauce or salt to taste
2 T olive oil
2 onions, cut in long strips
5 peppers, cut in long strips
1 hot pepper, minced or a dash cayenne
1 T chopped fresh basil
1/2 t paprika
1 T tamari
~3 small corn tortillas per person
1. Cut the steak into long thin strips and brown in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. When the meat is almost cooked but not quite finished sprinkle the first group of spices over the pan and pour in the limejuice and tamari. Let the meat cook until the juices are almost cooked away, about 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the onions and peppers.
3. Remove the meat to a large bowl and immediately pour your oil into the still-hot pan from the meat. Add the onions when the oil is hot, about 30 seconds after you pour it in and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the peppers, spices and tamari and cook another 2 – 3 minutes.
4. Heat the tortillas over the flame of a gas stove or in a pan with a little oil
5. Bring the meat, veggies, tortillas and cheese to the table for everyone to make their own fajitas.
Pasta with Red Bell Pepper Sauce
From Gardeners’ Community Cookbook
2 T olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
8 red (or other) peppers, finely chopped
1/2 t sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T chopped fresh basil leaves
1 T chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 t
1/2 cup white wine or water
3/4 lb. spaghetti or other pasta, cooked
1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add the bell peppers, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Cook over medium heat until the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and oregano and continue cooking 1 minute more, until the herbs are wilted. Remove and cool enough to handle.
3. Puree the mixture in a food processor until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan and stir in enough wine or water, up to 1/2 cup, to thin the mixture to a saucy rather than paste consistency. Reheat over low heat, pour over the pasta and serve right away.
PotatoesPotatoes have been a constant in many “American” diets- from French fries at fast food places to mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinners. We use potatoes to describe the texture and/or how to use many of our other vegetables. We grow a juicy early red variety, a big baking variety, an all blue type, and several others. Our potato-harvesting day is a fun CSA event for children as they dig through to dirt is search of edible treasures.
Nutrients: Peeled after boiling, 2.5” in diameter– 105 calories, 2.9 g protein, 3.9 g fiber, 23 g carbs., 1 IU Vitamin A, 22 mg Vitamin C, 10 mg Calcium, 19.3 mg Magnesium, 4 mg Sodium, 556 mg potassium.
From Nourishing Traditions
Skins from baked potatoes
2 T melted butter
1 cup grated cheese
1 bunch green onions
Optional garnishes: Sour cream, piima cream, or crème fraiche; crumbled bacon; guacamole, etc.
1. Bake potatoes and scoop out and use for other dishes, such as mashed potatoes.
2. Brush potato skins with butter, inside and out and bake at 350 F for about 1/2 hour or until the skins become crisp.
3. Serve with cheese and other garnishes
A rainbow of colors and flavors. We talk about tomatoes constantly at the farm. “I just used my last jar of tomatoes, how will I make it till July?” “Wouldn’t this be great with tomatoes in it?” For a food that was not even considered edible in this country before the 1800’s it is amazing how much we depend on it!
Nutrients: Raw, whole, 2.5” diameter ( nutrients vary when cooked)– 25 calories, 1 g Protein, 2 g fiber, 6 g carbs, 1,110 IU Vitamin A, 28 mg Vitamin C, 16 mg calcium, 16.8 mg magnesium, 15 mg sodium, 300 mg Potassium.
Chilled Sun Gold Soup
From Local Flavors
2 pints sun gold tomatoes
2 shallots, finely diced
3 T white wine or other vinegar
2 t finely diced Serrano pepper
2 T olive oil
1 firm avocado, chopped small
1 T chopped basil or cilantro
1. Pluck the stems off the tomatoes and rinse them. Add them to a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid with half the shallots, . t salt and 1 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat, keeping one ear inclined to the pot. Soon you’ll hear the tomatoes popping. Take a peek after a few minutes to be sure there’s sufficient moisture in the pan—you don’t want the tomatoes to scorch. If the skins are slow to pop, add a few tablespoons water. Once they release their juices, lower the heat and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
2. Run the tomatoes through a food mill or cool and put them in a food processor. You’ll have about 2 cups. Chill well, then taste for salt.
3. Just before serving, combine the remaining shallots in a bowl with the vinegar, Serrano pepper, oil, avocado and herbs. Season with a pinch or two of salt and some pepper. Spoon the soup into small cups, divide the garnish among them, and serve.