August Fruit: Eggplant!
This is the moment in summer when colors start to change at the market, as the night shades (eggplants, peppers, tomatoes) fill the bins. We have so many eggplant varieties at the market this year from Asian varieties that are slender and striated, to Fairy Tale eggplant and the classic, dusky Black Beauties.
I see so many folks pick them up, admire their smooth glossy skin and deep pigment but put them back because, well, “spongy.” I believe that is the word non-eggplant eaters use to describe this fruit (yes it is a fruit) that deserves more respect and a place of honor in the kitchen. It’s as delicious and versatile in the winter as it is in the summer. And, for all you vegetarians and vegans out there – it’s a great substitute for meat because of its heft and texture.
Fine Cooking knows exactly what I’m talking about. Here’s their roundup of summer eggplant recipes. I am eying this recipe for roasted-eggplant-and-tomatoes-with-tangy-cucumbers-and-yogurt because these four ingredients seemed destined to be together and we have them all at the market right now.
But of course given that we are blessed with Joe Tomato’s presence every week, these slightly retro eggplant, tomato and mozzarella “stacks” seem perfect for dinner on the deck after a day at the beach or pool.
Doc Pickle is very excited about a new product they will be unveiling this week: artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt and spices. Toss them in a salad or a pasta, says Josh Nadel, the “Doc” himself.
This week, please welcome new vendor Newell Farmlands. They make a fresh, herbaceous, spicy and garlicky Jamaican seasoning that goes back generations in their family and is designed to coax out the flavors of your favorite everyday dishes. Mix some of their seasoning in your Farm Eats or Stone & Thistle burgers for some extra pizzazz.
The Three Little Pigs BBQ truck is back and so is Vietnamese Food to GO so lots of great brunch/lunch options at the market.
See you at the market!
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ farmer’s market director
author: “American Pie:Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” (HarperCollins)