Deep Digger Carrots
Red Tide Lettuce
Ailsa Craig Onions
Twin Grown Watermelon
Notes from the Farm
So the thing about a CSA is that it's a gamble... a gamble on the weather, the wind, the work and the weight.
I can explain some things, and somethings I can't explain. I can't always explain why the farm does what it does. The peppers essentially all died, but the eggplants are the best I've ever grown. Eggplants and peppers are the same, they need the same nutrients, the same care... but the season has different ideas. Sometimes things just happen, the logic doesn't matter, the math might not make sense, it just happens... and the work isn't figuring it out, the work is in finding the joy.
The absolute best parts of my life are surprises, things I didn't expect to unfold the way they did... and, I feel like I fight a lot of surprises... but the most meaningful, life affirming, surprises are the ones I choose to embrace.
Openly loving eggplant can be daunting, I get it... but the eggplant is here, and right in front of us, it was a surprise that it came so beautifully... but it did, and we just went for it, and ultimately, the eggplant might not be this good again, so we're leaning into it now... we love eggplant... we see endless possibilities in it, and hopefully we can help you love it too.
We didn't mean for it to be so great, it just was, and we're pumped to share it with you this season.
2 lb small Italian eggplants (about 4)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
4 medium celery ribs, cut crosswise into very thin
1/3 cup large green Sicilian olives (1 3/4 oz), pitted and coarsely chopped
1 3/4 oz Italian capers packed in salt (1/3 cup), rinsed well
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
1 (14- to 15-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped (1 cup)
Peel eggplants, leaving some strips of peel, then cut into 1-inch cubes and spread on half of a kitchen towel. Sprinkle eggplant with salt, then cover with other half of towel and weight with a baking sheet topped with 2 or 3 large cans for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, stirring, until pale golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring, until onion and celery are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add olives, capers, and 2 tablespoons sugar and cook, stirring, 2 minutes, then stir in vinegar and tomatoes.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. If sauce is very acidic, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (to taste). Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered.
Rinse eggplant in a colander under running water, then squeeze dry in small handfuls.
Heat remaining cup oil in cleaned skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry eggplant in 2 batches, turning occasionally with tongs, until tender and browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer as cooked to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a large shallow serving dish in an even layer. Spoon sauce on top, spreading evenly, and let stand, covered with a kitchen towel, at room temperature, at least 8 hours (for flavors to develop). Stir before serving.
Sicilian Eggplant Puree
Spicy Roasted Eggplant
2 eggplants (1 pound each), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
4 fresh or canned whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups cracked wheat, washed well and drained
6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped arugula, for garnish
2 jalapeno chiles, sliced into thin rounds, for garnish
1. Make the spicy roasted eggplant: Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss to combine eggplant and oil. Add cayenne and season with salt and black pepper. Spread eggplant in an even layer and roast until golden and tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
2. Make the porridge: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium deep pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in coriander, cumin, turmeric, red-pepper flakes, tomatoes, tomato paste, cracked wheat, stock, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then transfer pot to oven. Cook until wheat is soft and liquid has reduced by one-third, about 2 hours.
3. Remove pot from oven and use a large spoon to vigorously beat the porridge until the mixture is thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with eggplant and garnished with arugula and jalapeno.