We have had such a weird summer here in Chicago. Even though it is August and school is approaching, it has been so cool and wet, I don't really feel like we have had summer. I am hoping for at least a few more warm days so we can enjoy the pool and the sun!
But, the weather has been good for produce as our CSA pickups have been bountiful!
Last week, we received:
- Sweet Corn
- Eggplant or Zucchini
- Sweet Onions
- Golden Plums
- Red Raspberries
- Fresh Chevre from LaClare Farms in Chilton, WI
- Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy in Albany, WI
- “Little Darling” Cheese from Brunkow Cheese in Darlington, WI
- Handmade Butter with Maple Syrup from Nordic Creamery in Westby, WI
As usual, we just kept our foods clean and simple.
Most of the fruit was just eaten plain or added to the delicious yogurt we received; but I did use the berries to make lacto-fermented berries. I then pureed the berries and mixed them with real maple syrup to top my daughter's pancakes.
The corn was grilled, wrapped in foil with butter and rosemary and topped with a good quantity of sea salt and pepper…one of my favorite preparations of corn.
I made these cheesy kale chips with the kale (another favorite in our house!)
What I was most excited about was the eggplant. I will admit I am not a huge eggplant fan. I will eat it, but I am usually not really excited about it.
A couple summers ago, I got the cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and am still trying to work my way through it.
Last summer, I stumbled upon this Spicy Thai Eggplant dip that is out. of. this. world.
I usually just eat it as a side dish or mix it up with kimchi and rice. It would be a delicious dip, however, with vegetables or rice crackers. I like to make it extra spicy so I throw an extra pepper or two in there. The recipe, as is, is medium spicy (in my opinion, but I have a high tolerance for heat).
- 1 lb eggplant, any variety
- 1 tbsp rapadura or other good sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp shoyu or soy sauce
- 2-4 hot peppers, finely minced
- 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped basil (Thai basil if you have it)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425. Slash eggplant in several places so it won't explode.
- Place in a pan and bake until very soft (about 30 minutes).
- Let cool and peel off skin and chop flesh.
- Mix sugar, vinegar, soy and peppers together.
- Heat a skillet over high heat and add oils.
- Add garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the eggplant and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the sauce and stir fry for 1-2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and add chopped basil.
- Add salt and pepper if necessary.
How do you like your eggplant?