CSA Week 2
Orient Express Eggplant
New Red Fire Head Lettuce
Crispino Head Lettuce
Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Spanish Dinner Radishes
Notes from the Farm
Parsley may be the most misunderstood vegetable on our farm.
It is an oft-dismissed garnish, the afterthought, the herb so overlooked it doesn't even get to the level of ill-repute... it is reputeless.
Which is too bad... because it might be the most important vegetable we grow.
Parsley is fine as a garnish, but so is anything... a rock can be a garnish if you put it next to a hamburger. But parsley is much more than that... parsley is a flavor enhancer... it is the salt of the vegetable world (as Amanda Cohen is known to say).
Any time you've eaten at a restaurant and had a meal that really stands out, tastes fresh, lively... it was likely parsley. Mosts chefs use parsley as often and as much as they use butter or salt. Used correctly, you won't even know it's there... it is the humblest servant of taste, of flavor.
Minced and added to a dish moments before it finishes cooking, sprinkled on top of a pizza, added into a salad, worked into a spring roll, or incorporated into a meat rub... parsley will do the hard work of moving the other flavors to the forefront.
Trust me, mince it fine, use a bunch, stem and all... and you'll be able to harness one of the secrets well trained chefs have been using for years...
Beet Carpaccio w/ Goat Cheese and Basil
5 beets, trimmed not peeled
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced shallot or onion
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup walnut oil or olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place beets on sheet (if using both light- and dark-colored beets, place them on separate sheets to prevent discoloration). Sprinkle beets lightly with water. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 40 minutes. Cool on sheet. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Place in resealable plastic bag; chill.)
Using cheese slicer or knife, slice beets very thinly. Slightly overlap slices on plates, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheese, then shallot, salt, and pepper. Whisk vinegar, basil, oil, and sugar in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over beets. Sprinkle with chives.
Best Ever Eggplant Dip
3 asian eggplants
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)
Kalamata (or other) olives, for serving (optional)
Heat grill (or broiler) to high. Pierce eggplants several times with a sharp knife. Place on grill. Cover; cook, turning occasionally, until very soft, 20 minutes or so. When cool enough to handle, cut up into smallish chunks. Some people scrape the meat off the skins, we prefer the skins included in the dish as long as they don't burn too bad.
Process tahini, lemon juice, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until smooth. Add eggplant; process until smooth.
Transfer mixture to a serving dish. If desired, drizzle with oil, and garnish with parsley or olives.
Spicy Seared Eggplant
2 Asian eggplants, about 1 pound, cut crosswise into 8 slices, each about 3/4 inch thick
2 small shallots (or one red onion), sliced crosswise, 1/4-inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons sherry-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
4 Gaeta olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, place in a colander set over a bowl, and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant and pat dry.
In a small saucepan over medium heat combine shallots, garlic, sugar, vinegar, red-pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute, and remove from heat. Stir in raisins, capers, olives, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add eggplant and coat all the pieces in the mixure.
Heat grill to high and brush grates with vegetable oil. Brush eggplant with remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil. Cook eggplant until charred and tender, turning over halfway through, about 10 minutes.
Heat oven to 425, and cook the coated eggplant for 20 to 30 minutes until well roasted.
Arrange eggplant on platter and spoon shallot mixture over top. Cool to room temperature and serve.
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