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Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 25th and 28th

Eggplant Frenzy

I hope your kitchens' are as fragrant and beautiful as ours.  Full of colorful veg and vibrant flowers, we are loving the bounty summer brings.  I never really like eggplant before I started to grow it.  Actually, I refused to grow it for my first several years at LRF, feeling that it was a tricky plant to grow in Maine's short and somewhat cool summer.  Plus, since it's not a favorite to all, finding field space for it was never a priority.  But a few shareholders, (uh-hmm, Mark and Anita) kept asking for it so I gave it a try.  There must be something about this place, but from the get go, eggplants just seem to spew from my plants.  And this year has been no exception (although, maybe I have just jinxed myself for 2016!).  In fact, I have made a farm note to grow less next year, we just can't eat it fast enough.  Not only are the fruits gorgeous, but they are a fun sweet texture in the dishes we have been cooking lately.  I think the fresh farm flavor converted me.  So if you think you don't like eggplant, or any vegetable for that matter, give it a 2nd chance at Little Ridge Farm, amazing new flavors might just surprise you. 
Sunday morning has been filled with chopping and roasting, charring and puréeing.  We are freezing baba ganoush and diced, roasted eggplant that will add flavor to many winter meals.  It's raining outside, a nice soft rain, so it's a perfect morning for food prep and savory indulgence.

Last night was also spent in the kitchen, dancing and cooking some amazing stuffed Pablano peppers.  This is the first year I have grown them, and I think they are keepers!  The dish we made was pretty rich, but there are so many stuffing options...potatoes, chicken, salsa...we will be sure to try many variations.  We are also trying to dry a few--they twill turn a rich red and be used to make ancho chili sauce.

While we work so hard, sweating, harvesting, weeding, planting... the carrots just stroll around the farm, hand in hand under the shade of our tropical kale "trees".  Ah, what a life.
This week's Bounty!  kale, chard, sweet onion, scallions, cukes, zukes, summer squash, peppers, eggplant, carrots, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, melons and herbs
Farmer's Table:
  *veggie lasagna with kale, eggplant, zucchini...
  *chard spanakopita
  *pasta primavera
  *stuffed Pablanos
  *blueberry cream pie with a grahm cracker crust
Shareholder's Table:
Eggplant Anonymous:
"I have been cutting eggplants into slabs, then coating with olive oil and garlic scape puree, salt and pepper.  Then grilling the eggplant until nice and soft. Once cooled, i put it in food processor with basil, lemon juice and a bit more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and puree.   I have been using this on sandwiches with melted cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, dipping carrots and pita wedges into it, or using as a pizza sauce and even adding dollops onto a salad.  i am a bit obsessed (and i never cared about eggplants before either)."

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