On the Farm. Onion harvest is right around the corner. Time to pull all those beautiful white, yellow, and red bulbs so we can hang them in our barn to cure. The curing process is very simple one: keep the onions dry, keep the air circulation flowing, keep the temperatures between the 60- 80’s.
Fresh from the garden, onions are full of sugary juices, and they have only a light skin covering them. These fresh onions are great to eat but they will not store into the late winter and early spring like a well cured onion will. As the onions cure and grow more pungent, the skins dry into protective papery wrappers, and the necks at the top of the bulb dry together to seal out moisture and microorganisms so that we can enjoy onions all winter long.
What’s growing and getting harvested this week on the farm: This week we’ve got kale, eggplant, broccoli, celery, walla walla sweet onions (uncured), carrots, beans, summer squash, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, lots of fantastic peppers, corn, some cauliflower and potatoes. Also just a reminder, if you are a CSA member, this is week is the 15th week of your CSA. The CSA is a 18 weeks long, so you have 3 scrumptious weeks left.
An Eggplant Recipe. Every year I seem to fall in love with eggplant a little more. I am still learning, too. Recently I tried a new method of cooking this strange fruit, kinda a eggplant Parmesan, real casual like.
To start take your eggplant and cut it into 1/4 thick slices (rounds). Then heat up some oil on the skillet. Place the eggplant into the hot skillet and sprinkle with salt. The eggplant does a great job at soaking up all the oil so be sure to add small amounts of oil so that you avoid burning the fruit. Your goal here is to get a nice golden brown fry happening. Be patient and play around with your heat. You want the pan hot enough to brown but avoid burning.
Once you have a nice lightly fried eggplant on your hands you will want to add some bread crumbs. I like to save baguettes and then use a cheese grater to make bread crumbs as needed, but of course any kind of bread crumb will work. Next you can toss in a bit of minced garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes. Lastly you can toss on your Parmesan cheese and there you have it a very easy and lighter style eggplant Parmesan (I just brought this super easy dish backpacking over the weekend). Of course like any dish you could make lots of changes, add a bell pepper or a few sweet tomatoes, basil, or squash. All I can say is wow, this is a great time of year for eating.