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Come home with more good food than you know what to do with? Interested in trying something new and different with market produce? Check out our recipe index for some new ideas! Have a recipe you'd like to share? Email us at svgmarket@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

News from the SVGM - October 1st

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
October 1st, 2010

In this week's email:

  • News From The Market
  • Products This Week
  • Seasonal Recipe
  • On The Website
* * * * *

News From The Market
The Growers' Market is quickly coming to the end of the 2010 season! These October Fridays will be the last until spring returns, with just five markets remaining. Many of our vendors will still have meats, eggs, produce, and more available when the market days are past, so don't forget to ask about winter pickups and deliveries before it's too late!

Despite its sometimes less-than-stellar reputation among kids and former presidents, broccoli is a delicious, healthy, and versatile vegetable. With its assertive flavor, it can stand up to a variety of other ingredients. For example, you can use it in your own version of that Chinese restaurant standby, Beef with Broccoli and Oyster Sauce, or use it with leftover roast chicken in a Chicken and Broccoli Gratin.

Pass the newsletter along! If you've received a copy from a friend, and would like to get one each week during the market season, send an email to: svgmarket@gmail.com

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
October 1st, 2010
2pm - 6pm
Ard's Farm Market
4803 Old Turnpike Rd, Lewisburg
(Between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, on PA 45)
Visit our website at http://growersmarket.blogspot.com/

* * * * *

Products This Week
Following is just a partial list of what you can expect to find at the market this week:
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkins and winter squash
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • Carrots
  • Hot and sweet peppers
  • Wheat berries
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Swiss chard
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Farm-fresh eggs
  • Freshly baked artisan breads
  • Sweets and handmade chocolates
  • Pasture-raised poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Pasture-raised veal
  • Farm-fresh pork
  • Raw milk cheeses
  • Freshly cut flowers
  • Wool yarn for knitting and weaving
* * * * *

Seasonal Recipe
Beef with Broccoli and Oyster Sauce

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma: Asian by Farina Wong Kingsley (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
Serves 4 to 6

Most of us know the standard "beef and broccoli" that's available on the takeout menu of just about every Chinese restaurant in the United States, as ubiquitous as General Tso's Chicken. While it can be a cheap, guilty pleasure for lazy evenings, this dish of thinly sliced beef stir-fried with broccoli florets and a rich, sweet sauce can become something quite good when made with high-quality ingredients. It's a flexible recipe, in which the meat and vegetable can be swapped out to work with what's fresh and tasty.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. beef flank steak
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 small yellow onion, in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine or water
  • Peanut oil, for cooking
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Slice the steak along the grain, into pieces about 3 inches long and ¼-inch thick. You may find this easier if you place the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes, which will firm it up a bit. Combine the beef slices in a bowl with 2 tbsp. water, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, ¼ tsp. salt. ¼ tsp. sugar, and the baking soda. Let stand 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, 2 tbsp. water, a pinch white pepper, and the remaining sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. In boiling water, blanch the broccoli florets until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

  3. Pat the beef strips dry with paper towels. Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the beef in peanut oil until just opaque, about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from the wok, and, adding extra oil if necessary, add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant and golden-brown, less than a minute, and remove. Add the onion, and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes more.

  4. When the onion is cooked, add the rice wine to the pan, and quickly scrape up any browned bits. Add the soy sauce mixture, and bring to a boil, adding the beef and broccoli as it does. Stir until the sauce thickens and everything is heated through, just a minute or two. Serve immediately.
* * * * *

On The Website
A whole roast chicken can sometimes be a lot of food for just a few people to have at one meal. Leftovers are probably inevitable, but that doesn't mean that they have to be relegated to the soup pot or microwave reheating. Try combining them with some fresh broccoli and a rich, creamy sauce in a Chicken and Broccoli Gratin.

Bonus Recipe, October 1st: Chicken and Broccoli Gratin

Seasonal Recipe
Chicken and Broccoli Gratin

Adapted from Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book by Jane Grigson (University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

As with all leftovers-based recipes, this is one in which the quantities - of ingredients, of servings - are quite flexible, enough to suit whatever you have on hand. It does call for a bit of bechamel sauce, which is simply a white sauce of milk thickened with a roux (like in this other cheesy broccoli recipe from last year).

Ingredients:

  • Half a roasted chicken
  • 1 lb. broccoli, trimmed and cooked
  • 2 cups bechamel sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock (made from the roasted chicken bones, if you like)
  • 2 tsp. tarragon
  • 4 tbsp. vermouth or white wine
  • 6 tbsp. cream
  • 2 tbsp. grated cheddar cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • A pinch nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pull the meat from the chicken bones, and cut it into pieces. Arrange them in a large, shallow, lightly buttered, ovenproof dish. Layer with the broccoli so that it looks attractive; this will all depend on how much you have of the various leftovers.

  2. In a saucepan, bring the bechamel, stock, and tarragon to a boil, and reduce by half. Add the vermouth, cream, and nutmeg, and adjust the seasoning to taste. It should be a bit on the thick side. Stir in the grated cheese. Pour it all over the chicken and broccoli.

  3. Scatter breadcrumbs ovet the top, and drizzle the melted butter over. Bake until it bubbles at the edges and the chicken has heated through. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

News from the SVGM - September 24th

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 24th, 2010

In this week's email:

  • News From The Market
  • Products This Week
  • Seasonal Recipe
  • On The Website
* * * * *

News From The Market
Autumn is officially upon us, and there can't be much left of summer's heat. There are just a few weeks left for this season's Growers' Market, so start thinking about stocking up on storage vegetables, frozen meats, and other locally-produced treats before November arrives!

With cooling weather comes an appetite for warming, filling comfort food. When you're looking for some ideas to keep away the chill, you can try these recipes: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo simmering on the stove, filling the kitchen and house with it rich aromas, or Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate Vinaigrette slowly browning and turning irresistible in the oven.

Pass the newsletter along! If you've received a copy from a friend, and would like to get one each week during the market season, send an email to: svgmarket@gmail.com

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 24th, 2010
2pm - 6pm
Ard's Farm Market
4803 Old Turnpike Rd, Lewisburg
(Between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, on PA 45)
Visit our website at http://growersmarket.blogspot.com/

* * * * *

Products This Week
Following is just a partial list of what you can expect to find at the market this week:
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • Carrots
  • Hot and sweet peppers
  • Green beans
  • Wheat berries
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Swiss chard
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Farm-fresh eggs
  • Freshly baked artisan breads
  • Sweets and handmade chocolates
  • Pasture-raised poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Pasture-raised veal
  • Farm-fresh pork
  • Raw milk cheeses
  • Freshly cut flowers
  • Wool yarn for knitting and weaving
* * * * *

Seasonal Recipe
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American by Jeff Smith (Wm. Morrow, 1987)
Serves 6

Gumbo takes a variety of forms, often based on what's fresh at the market and what's waiting in the pantry. This is just one version, using file powder as a thickener. Should you be fortunate enough to have fresh okra handy, at the peak of summer's heat, feel free to use it instead.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. smoked pork sausage, diced
  • 1 small chicken, cut up
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch allspice
  • ¼ cup file powder, or to taste
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. In a large saucepan, brown the sausage, in a bit of oil, over medium heat. Remove from the pan, and add the remaining oil. Brown the chicken pieces, in batches to avoid crowding, and set aside with the sausage.

  2. Add the flour to the pan, and cook, stirring, until the roux reaches the color of peanut butter. Scrape the bottom frequently with a wooden spoon to ensure it doesn't stick and burn. Add the vegetables and garlic, and cook until softened, the cover with the chicken stock. Stir while bringing to a boil, until it begins to thicken. Add the remaining seasonings, and simmer for an hour.

  3. Add the sausage and chicken to the soup, and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through. Thicken as desired with the file, and serve immediately, with plenty of long-grain rice.
* * * * *

On The Website
Root vegetables are sweet and delicious, and there's no reason to relegate them to filler status in wintry stews. Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate Vinaigrette is just one way to let the flavor and color of these fine vegetables shine.

Bonus Recipe, September 24th: Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Seasonal Recipe
Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Adapted from Earthbound Farm Organic
Serves 6

Carrots are inherently sweet, and roasting enhances that sweetness. The same goes for other sweet vegetables, which would also benefit from this treatment. Try this dressing with beets, parsnips, or winter squash; like carrots, the rich orange color of the latter looks really sharp against the deep garnet of the pomegranate.

Ingredients:

  • 1-½ lb. carrots
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (See note, below.)
  • 2 tbsp. shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Trim the carrots, if necessary. They should all be the same size, large or small, to ensure they cook evenly. Toss the carrots with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Arrange in a baking dish and roast until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 30 to 40 minutes.

  2. Whisk together the pomegranate molasses, shallots, vinegar, salt and the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat until jsut warm, and dress the roasted carrots. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Note: If you are unable to find pomegranate molasses, you can make a close replacement. Place 3 cups pomegranate juice, 3 tbsp. sugar, and 2 tbsp. lemon juice in a saucepan. Reduce until you have just ¾ cup remaining, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, and it will thicken. Tightly sealed, it will last at least a month in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

News from the SVGM - September 17th

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 17th, 2010

In this week's email:

  • News From The Market
  • Products This Week
  • Seasonal Recipe
  • On The Website
* * * * *

News From The Market
This may be the last week for ripe tomatoes at the Growers' Market, but the winter squash and pumpkins are coming to take their place. We're also nearing the end of green tomato season, so if you're looking for fried green tomatoes or homemade piccalilli, now's the time. You can check out the website information from last week to find a great recipe for Pickled Green Tomatoes by following the link to the NPR story.

Since winter squash are finally here, it's time to start thinking about those warming dishes that come in all the colors of fall, from roasted meats and vegetables, to autumn's sweet pies, to uncommon treats like a spicy-sweet Thai Pumpkin Soup. Or enjoy the last delights of summer vegetables with a dish like Hunanese Green Peppers with Pork and Greens.

Pass the newsletter along! If you've received a copy from a friend, and would like to get one each week during the market season, send an email to: svgmarket@gmail.com

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 17th, 2010
2pm - 6pm
Ard's Farm Market
4803 Old Turnpike Rd, Lewisburg
(Between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, on PA 45)
Visit our website at http://growersmarket.blogspot.com/

* * * * *

Products This Week
Following is just a partial list of what you can expect to find at the market this week:
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • Apples
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Wheat berries
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Farm-fresh eggs
  • Freshly baked artisan breads
  • Sweets and handmade chocolates
  • Pasture-raised poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Pasture-raised veal
  • Farm-fresh pork
  • Raw milk cheeses
  • Freshly cut flowers
  • Wool yarn for knitting and weaving
* * * * *

Seasonal Recipe
Thai Pumpkin Soup

Adapted from Asian Soups by Suzie Smith (Lansdowne, 2000)
Serves 4

Pumpkin soups are generally smooth and creamy, taking advantage of the way the pumpkin flesh breaks down to a rich, sweet unctuousness. This version takes a different approach, in the Thai tradition of keeping the pumpkin intact in tenderly cooked pieces. The broth's richness instead comes from coconut milk, which coats the pumpkin pieces in a rich, sweet, spicy, and fragrant broth. Any winter squash or pumpkin worth eating will work here. (In other words, avoid the big, orange jack o'lantern pumpkins.)

Ingredients:
  • 12 oz. pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 hot peppers
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • ½ cup basil leaves, torn, for garnish (optional)
Directions:
  1. Place the pumpkin pieces in a bowl with the lime juice. Set aside.

  2. Using a mortar or a food processor, pound or process the onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, lemongrass, and shrimp paste into a smooth paste. Combine this paste with ¼ cup coconut milk in a large saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. Cook until fragrant and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the coconut milk, along with the stock and fish sauce, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer 5 minutes.

  3. Add the pumpkin pieces and lime juice, and simmer until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning, and adjust with more fish sauce or lime juice as needed. Serve immediately, adding the basil leaves to the top of individual bowls as garnish.
* * * * *

On The Website
Most Chinese restaurants in the US serve dishes based on the relatively mild Cantonese cuisine, but China's an awfully big country. Further inland, in Hunan province, they like their food rich and spicy, like this recipe for Hunanese Green Peppers with Pork and Greens. Combined with the slight bitterness of the green peppers and the gentle sweetness of pork, it's an excellent way to turn a few basic ingredients into a intensely-flavored side dish.

Bonus Recipe, September 17th: Hunanese Green Peppers with Pork and Greens

Seasonal Recipe
Hunanese Green Peppers with Pork and Greens

Adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province by Fuschia Dunlop (W.W. Norton, 2006)
Serves 4 as a side

Unlike in many Western cuisines, a homestyle Chinese dinner often involves several dishes prepared in various ways, like a collection of side dishes with no real "main" entree. Most dishes will combine vegetables and meat, with the latter often in small quantities for flavoring. This is a typical example, which uses just a little ground pork to add richness and a slight sweetness to the dish.

Vegetarians can, of course, omit the pork. Finely chopped mushrooms make a fine substitute. The original recipe also calls for preserved mustard greens, which are a salty, fermented vegetable available from Asian specialty stores. If you happen to have them, you can use them instead of the chard called for here.

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz. green bell peppers, in ½-inch dice
  • 3 oz. chard leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 3 oz. ground pork
  • 1 tsp. Shaoxing wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil or lard, for cooking
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat, and add just a tiny bit of oil. Add the green peppers, and stir fry for a few minutes until they have softened a bit and become fragrant. Remove from the wok and set aside.

  2. Turn the heat to medium-high, and add the remaining oil. Stir-fry the pork until it has changed color, and add the Shaoxing wine and a little salt. Add the garlic and chard, and continue stirring until the garlic is fragrant and the chard begins wilting. Add a splash of water to slow the cooking if necessary, which will allow the chard to cook through without burning the garlic. Toss in the red pepper flakes, then the green peppers. Check for seasoning, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

News from the SVGM - September 10th

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 10th, 2010

In this week's email:

  • News From The Market
  • Products This Week
  • Seasonal Recipe
  • On The Website
* * * * *

News From The Market
With Labor Day comes some very autumn-like weather, it seems, which means we're about to shift from the hot-weather tomato bounty to heartier vegetables like pumpkins, cool-weather greens, and more in the coming weeks. Enjoy them now, or head to our website for some links to good sources for information on canning those tomatoes (and peaches, and peppers, and more) to enjoy when winter has arrived in full force.

The Farm at Stonybrook will be at market this week, with a selection herbal teas and dried herb blends. Herbal teas, without caffeine, are excellent for a morning pick-me-up or a relaxing cup of warmth in the evening, but have you ever tried cooking with them? Check below for a variation on the traditional Chinese tea eggs using an herbal blend, Lemon Tea Eggs.

Pass the newsletter along! If you've received a copy from a friend, and would like to get one each week during the market season, send an email to: svgmarket@gmail.com

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 10th, 2010
2pm - 6pm
Ard's Farm Market
4803 Old Turnpike Rd, Lewisburg
(Between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, on PA 45)
Visit our website at http://growersmarket.blogspot.com/

* * * * *

Products This Week
Following is just a partial list of what you can expect to find at the market this week:
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • Melons
  • Concord grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Wheat berries
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Farm-fresh eggs
  • Freshly baked artisan breads
  • Sweets and handmade chocolates
  • Pasture-raised poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Pasture-raised veal
  • Farm-fresh pork
  • Raw milk cheeses
  • Freshly cut flowers
  • Wool yarn for knitting and weaving
  • Dried herbs and teas
* * * * *

Seasonal Recipe
Lemon Tea Eggs

Adapted from The New Tea Book by Sara Perry (Chronicle, 2001)
Makes 6 to 10 eggs

You can use any tea that you like for this recipe, but replacing the traditional black tea with an intensely lemony herbal blend from the market can be an exciting change. Try these lemon-scented eggs in a salad of fresh greens, or alongside a selection of fresh fruit and ripe cheeses from the SVGM.

Ingredients:
  • 6 to 10 hard-cooked eggs
  • 3 to 4 cups tea brewed with the Farm at Stonybrook's Lota Lota Lemon blend
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Zest of an orange
Directions:
  1. Use the back of a spoon to crack the eggshells all over, so that the tea is able to seep through the shells. Put the tea, salt, and citrus zest in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the eggs carefully, using a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Shut off the heat and allow the eggs to steep another 30 minutes. Remove from the tea, cool, and use immediately or refrigerate until needed.
* * * * *

On The Website
Tomatoes, tomatoes! Now's the time to enjoy them, and to stock up for the ever-nearer end of the 2010 tomato season. We've collected some information for first-time canners on our website, so that you can turn the season's fresh bounty into something you can enjoy months from now.

Canning tomatoes and more!

Ever look at the ripe, organically grown tomatoes at the Growers' Market and wished you could enjoy them year-round? Home canning is an easy and simple way to preserve a range of seasonal foods, be they vine-ripened tomatoes or fresh-from-the-tree peaches. Some of our vendors, including White Frost Farm and Dreisbach Greenhouses, often have "seconds" of tomatoes that look a little less than perfect, but taste wonderful and are perfect for setting aside for enjoyment throughout the winter.

Just last week, National Public Radio ran a story about canning to deal with a bountiful garden harvest, and they offer up plenty of tips and photos to whet your appetite and get you started. The print version of "Overloaded From Your Garden? Just Can It" can be found on NPR's website: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129402166&sc=emaf

There are a ton of internet references out there, but the most reliable, well-informed information comes from the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia and from the USDA. Here are a few links to get first-timers started, and for experienced canners to brush up their skills:

National Center for Home Food Preservation - http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/index.html - In addition to canning, this site includes information on pickling, dehydrating, and various other ways to preserve a wide range of good foods from the market, not just tomatoes and fresh fruits.

NCHFP's Canning Information - http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html - For information specifically related to canning foods at home.

USDA Canning Guide - http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/usda/GUIDE%201%20Home%20Can.pdf - The USDA's guidelines for home canning, in PDF form. More, and more specific information, can be found through the NCHFP website.

USDA Tomato Canning Guide - http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/usda/GUIDE%203%20Home%20Can.pdf - For those planning to can tomatoes, this is the direct link to what you need to know.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News from the SVGM - September 3rd

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 3rd, 2010

In this week's email:

  • News From The Market
  • Products This Week
  • Seasonal Recipe
  • On The Website
* * * * *

News From The Market
With the arrival of September and, hopefully, of cooler weather, the Growers' Market welcomes another new vendor. Mad About Ewes will be at the SVGM this Friday, with wool from their own flock of sheep. They raise the sheep, process the wool, and have a variety for spinning, knitting, and other projects to keep you busy before sweater weather arrives.

Eggplant is a genuine summer delight. Although it's possible to preserve it in a handful of ways, it doesn't often have the same versatility of canned tomatoes, frozen corn, or pickled peppers. So, while you can still get it fresh and sweet - and freshly picked eggplant definitely lacks the inherent bitterness of the purple monsters sitting at the grocery store - here are a pair of unusual recipes that let the flavor of good, local eggplant shine. Match them with ripe bell peppers for Eggplant and Peppers with Miso, or try them alongside green beans and sesame in Eggplant with Sesame Sauce.

Pass the newsletter along! If you've received a copy from a friend, and would like to get one each week during the market season, send an email to: svgmarket@gmail.com

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market
September 3rd, 2010
2pm - 6pm
Ard's Farm Market
4803 Old Turnpike Rd, Lewisburg
(Between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, on PA 45)
Visit our website at http://growersmarket.blogspot.com/

* * * * *

Products This Week
Following is just a partial list of what you can expect to find at the market this week:
  • Garlic jelly
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • Edamame
  • Melons
  • Concord grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Zucchini and summer squash
  • Wheat berries
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Farm-fresh eggs
  • Freshly baked artisan breads
  • Sweets and handmade chocolates
  • Pasture-raised poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Pasture-raised veal
  • Farm-fresh pork
  • Raw milk cheeses
  • Freshly cut flowers
* * * * *

Seasonal Recipe
Eggplant and Peppers with Miso

Adapted from Japanese Home Style CookingBetter Home Japan (Better Home Publishing House, 1986)
Serves 4

Eggplant are a summer vegetable, without doubt, one that adores the sort of heat that makes most of us wilt. Paired with green bell peppers, this quick and simple stir-fry is pure Japanese home cooking. While it is best with the long, skinny types of eggplant, any that are fresh and delicious will certainly do. More adventurous palates might like to add a bit of hot pepper to this, as well; it's even better that way.

Don't worry if you don't have a well-stocked Japanese pantry. Mirin, sake, and dashi are all tasty in this recipe, but not essential; the flavor of the miso is what dominates, so use what you have on hand.

Ingredients:
  • 5 Japanese eggplant
  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 4 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2-½ tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. mirin (rice wine)
  • 2 tsp. sake
  • 2 tsp. dashi stock
Directions:
  1. Trim the stems from the eggplant, and peel thin strips of skin away, leaving about half on the eggplant. Cut into ½-inch slices. Soak in water for 5 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, remove the stems and seeds from the peppers, and cut them into bite-size pieces.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, adding the sesame oil. Cook the eggplant for a few minutes, then add the green peppers, stirring frequently. When the vegetables are soft, add the miso and sugar. Stir constantly, until the miso just starts to burn. Add the mirin, sake, and dashi stock, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, still stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
* * * * *

On The Website
For an uncommon approach to eggplant, steamed in a traditional Japanese manner, try Eggplant with Sesame Sauce. It turns the large eggplant that make such excellent Eggplant Parmesan into something worlds away, but absolutely delicious.

Bonus Recipe, September 3rd: Eggplant with Sesame Sauce

Seasonal Recipe
Eggplant with Sesame Sauce

Adapted from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Japanese Cooking by Emi Kazuko (Barnes & Noble, 2003)
Serves 4

In the typical Western kitchen, eggplant is put through a range of cooking methods, from frying to roasting to grilling. Even those of us adding them to south or southeast Asian curries end up simply cooking them in a boiling or simmering sauce. In Japan and China, however, eggplant is just as likely to end up in the steamer, for recipes that often capitalize on the eggplant's natural flavor, rather than just its firm and meaty texture.

This particular recipe is an example of the type of cooking found at Japanese Zen temples, using simple, seasonal ingredients. Although this recipe, like much of Japanese cooking, calls for dashi stock, made from bonito flakes and kombu kelp, it can be made with vegetable stock or water with very good results.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplant
  • ¼ lb. mushrooms, preferably enoki or shiitake
  • ¾ cup green beans
  • 2 to 2-½ cups dashi stock, vegetable stock, or water
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, ground
  • 2 tbsp. sake
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Peel the eggplant, and cut into quarters along their length. Place in a bowl full of salted water for 30 minutes. Drain, then steam over medium heat until soft, about 20 minutes.

  2. In a skillet, mix together 1-2/3 cups dashi stock, 1-½ tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, and a pinch of salt. Add the eggplant and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, then add the sesame seeds. Mix the sake (or water) with the cornstarch, and add to the pan. Shake the pan to mix, and remove from the heat once the sauce thickens.

  3. While the eggplant is cooking, trim the mushrooms and green beans. Mix together the remaining dashi stock, soy sauce, and sugar in a pan, and cook the vegetables over medium heat until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your mushrooms and the size of your beans.

  4. To serve, arrange the eggplant, with its sauce, in individual bowls, topped with the other vegetables. Serve warm.