Friday, January 13, 2012

Badger Rock Farm Veggie Share Newsletter - Week # 14


Can you believe we've arrived at the 14th week of this season's veggie deliveries? The summer sure is going by quickly. Finally, this week, there are some larger tomatoes to be had. I apologize...a couple have grasshopper bites in them. So frustrating to have a beautiful tomato marred that way, but I think that it will still be delicious! It's been hot, dry and windy for the past several days (well, the hot and dry part has lasted much longer....). That weather ripens summer's veggies, as long as everything stays watered (which has become almost a full-time job!!). So far so good, though!


There are some familiar visitors to your bag this week. Onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and purple basil are all continuing to do well in the garden. New this week are crookneck and/or patty pan summer squashes (if this is your first experience with patty pans, they are the ones that look like flying saucers :-) and eggplant. Look below for information and preparation ideas for these two newcomers.

Eggplant – There are two types of eggplant included in your share this week. There is the commonly seen bulbous-shaped eggplant, and an oriental variety (Pingtung) which is long and thin (also sometimes called Asian or Japanese eggplant). Before cooking eggplant (especially larger ones), it is recommended to “degorge” or “debitter” them. To accomplish this, slice them up as needed for your recipe, sprinkle them with salt and allow them to drain for an hour or so. This draws out any bitter liquid that might exist around the seeds. You can then rinse them, and add them to your recipe.
Eggplant Parmesan
1 large eggplant (or 2 small), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about eight)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with bread crumbs. Spread the oil on a hot baking sheet and place your eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In an 8 x 10-inch oven-proof dish, layer pasta sauce, then eggplant, and top with cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15 minutes.

Summer Squash (crookneck and/or patty pan) – Patty pans are summer squash, just like yellow crooknecks, and they can be prepared in the same ways you would usually prep crookneck squash or zucchini. Personally, my favorite way to enjoy them is chopped up and steamed, with a bit of salt and butter added when they are served (yum!!). A friend also loves to grill patty pans. She wedges them, brushes them with olive oil and seasonings, chops an onion and wraps everything in foil, which she then grills. Delicious!!!

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