I haven't posted in a couple of weeks because I was on vacation, so a friend picked up my CSA bag last week and she and her family enjoyed it. I plan to post later about my trip to British Columbia where I enjoyed lots of delicious local food including seafood and vegetables as well as some fabulous British Columbia wines.
Today's CSA bag brought a much greater variety of items. There was a bunch of young carrots, a bunch of baby beets, two heads of "German Porcelain" garlic, zucchini and summer squash, a lovely shiny purple eggplant, a large, almost ripe tomato, and more "Sweet Jewel" strawberries and collards.
I came home and made a lovely salad and topped it with some chopped carrots and baby beets. I didn't actually read my vegetable list before I started chopping and thought the "radishes" looked unusual inside. They were striped like beets. Well, that's because they were beets! I put them on the salad anyway and they were delicious. I'm glad I mistook them. They had the same crunchy texture of radish and while they had a little bit of the bite of a radish, they were sweeter. Of course the carrots were tender, sweet and crunchy.
I decided to go ahead and cook the eggplant while it was still so fresh. I'm going to have it for lunch tomorrow with pasta and marinara sauce. Following is my recipe for preparing broiled eggplant.
RECIPE: Broiled Eggplant
Serves 3 as a main dish or 5-6 as an hors d'oeuvres
1 large eggplant
2 T olive oil or flavored oil such as basil oil
1 T sweet balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmaggiano Reggiano
Slice the eggplant into 3/4 inch rounds. Rub the surface of both sides of the eggplant sliceswith kosher salt and let stand between two paper towels and let stand for about 30 minutes to remove some of the moisture and bitterness.
Set a baking rack in a cookie sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.
Wipe salt from surface of eggplant slices. Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil or basil oil with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (use a sweeter balsamic or balsamic glaze - not a harsh vinegary variety). Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil/balsamic mixture and sprinkle with ground black pepper.
Place slices on baking rack and set pan on middle rack of oven. Broil for 4-5 minutes until balsamic caramelizes. Remove from oven, turn over eggplant pieces and brush with oil/balsamic mixture on second side, sprinkle with ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese. Broil another 4-5 minutes until second side caramelizes.
Serve as a main dish with a side of pasta and marina or cut into cubes and serve as an hors d'ouevres.