Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exciting eggplant varieties arriving at a market near you!

As we approach high summer, farmers are bringing in eggplants of all shapes, colors and sizes. Though the varieties grown at the garden may not be the large, deep purple ones to which Americans accumstomed, fear not! Try one of these eggplants and you'll find they're just as delicious.
Halima at the Northeast Market at the Don Bosco center in Missouri (Fridays from 9am-12pm) with a purple and white Nubia eggplant, a deep purple Beatrice eggplant, and a white Clara eggplant

A box of small and slender Japanese eggplant

Mary at Northeast market with her hands full of Petch Parisa eggplant, a Thai variety. Keep your eyes peeled for tiny red, white, and green eggplant under New Roots farmers' market tents as well - these are another Thai variety, and are only the size of a quarter!

For a fresh, tangy summer soup, try whipping up okra coconut curry. Slice up ten to fifteen okra pods and fry them in a big pan. After they are almost done cooking, add a large handful of Thai eggplant and three or four chopped garlic cloves. Continue frying until the garlic has browned. Add one cup of coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice and zest, salt, and sugar to taste, and a handful of chopped basil - serve over rice, and enjoy!

A heartier way to cook your eggplant is in a cheesy bake. Slice up several small to medium sized eggplants into half inch discs and put them on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with a chopped garlic clove. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Sautee a couple fresh tomatoes, a handful of spinach, chopped onion and garlic in oil. Place a layer of eggplant in a baking dish, top with sauteed vegetables and a layer of your favorite cheese, (or cheeses!) and repeat until you've used up all of your ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes, and enjoy your cheesy eggplant goodness!

We hope you enjoyed last night's rainstorms as much as we did, and we look forward to seeing you at markets in the coming days.

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