CSA Pick-Up for August 18
Green peppers, green beans, and zucchini are among the vegetables you will be receiving at this week's CSA. The summer is winding to a close but the CSA is still going strong. The venerable eggplant finds itself in the center of a great many vegetarian dishes, due to its savory taste. If you enjoy Asian cuisine then this eggplant recipe is sure to be a hit in your household:
Hunan Eggplant with Bacon and Shiitakes
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds eggplant
1/3 cup peanut or vegetable oil
3 ounces uncooked bacon, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt to taste
3 scallion stalks, thinly sliced
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes, until they soften. Drain the shiitakes and squeeze them dry. Finely chop them and set aside. Quarter eggplants along the length, then cut 1/2-inch thick slices from each quarter. Heat the 1/3 cup oil in a wok over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add the eggplants and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until the outsides turn golden brown. Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon. Cook the bacon for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shittakes and stir-fry for another minute. Add the chili bean sauce and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken stock, soy sauce and sesame oil. Allow everything to simmer for a few minutes while the flavors penetrate the eggplants. Add salt if needed. Add the chopped scallions to the eggplant mix and cook for another minute. Remove from the wok and serve.
Swiss Chard is one of those vegetables that is very versatile but you never hear about. You can substitute swiss chard in most dishes where you would otherwise use spinach or collard greens to achieve a different flavor. Swiss chard season is ending soon so if you have not already tried this great green then pick some up. This recipe for swiss chard meatballs is sure to be a different taste than usual:
Meatballs with Swiss Chard
1 bunch swiss chard
500 grams ground meat
3 clove garlic
1 onion, grated
1 farm fresh egg
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
A few tablespoons vegetable or lamb tail fat for frying
Juice of one lemon
3 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of water or chicken stock
Remove the tough stems, reserving them. Wash the Swiss chard. Without drying add them to a pot large enough to contain them and heat until wilted. Drain well and when cool enough to handle squeeze dry. Roughly chop. In a bowl add ground meat, egg, grated onion, Swiss chard, bread crumbs and spices. Knead until uniform. Make 16-18 flattened round meatballs and fry on a hot skillet only until each side is nicely brown. They will continue cooking in the sauce so should not be fully cooked at this point. Wash the swiss chard stems, cutting them in finger sized pieces. Fry the garlic in olive oil, add the lemon juice. Add the meatballs and beet stems and cover almost to the top with either water or chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked. Continue cooking for a few more minutes with the top off to thicken the sauce. I reduced the liquid until only a few tablespoons was left, concentrating the lemon flavor.
If you are looking for something light then toss some of our lettuce mix with radishes and onions for a salad with bite. Everybody's favorite squashes, zucchini and summer squash, will be back again this Wednesday. Tomatoes and beets will also be available for those who want them.
Posted: August 17th, 2010 under CSA.