From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Summer Squash, Basil, Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Green Beans, Bay Leaves and Garlic
Coming Soon… Sweet Corn, Winter Squash and Sweet Potatoes
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week we will have enough eggplant for everyone to make baba ghanoush. This classic middle eastern dip is great served with bread, pita or fresh vegetables or use it as a spread on a sandwich. Many of our eggplant are smaller than the traditional Italian globe variety, you will just want to use a combination of two pounds total. With eggplant being slightly bland, feel free to add in some peppers or basil to add flavor. Also, I wrote the recipe for baking the eggplant in the oven, but you can cook it on the grill to add a smoky component. If you don’t have tahini, you can use a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil as a substitute or try adding almond butter instead.
2 pounds of eggplant
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2-3 tablespoons tahini
1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke the eggplants in several places with the tines of a fork. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon).
Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until very tender, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Scoop the eggplant flesh from the skin, and save the flesh in a large bowl. Mash well with a fork. Add garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper, stir well to combine. Serve with pita chips or crackers or vegetable sticks.
This summer we were rewarded with a prolific harvest from our stone fruit trees. We are now waiting for the next seasonal items pomegranates and persimmons that will come in the fall. We will also have a fall harvest of strawberries, once the weather cools. For now, I get to walk past this pomegranate tree each day, and keep watch as their color changes.
Whole Roasted Garlic…
Roasting the whole head of garlic, changes the flavor, removing the spicy bite of fresh garlic, enhancing the sweetness and adding a caramelized flavor to the garlic. Roast the whole head and serve it as an appetizer or use it in place of regular garlic in any recipe to change up the flavor.
Roasted Garlic Heads
Whole heads of garlic
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Cut the top quarter inch off of the top of the garlic bulb, to expose the inside. Lay aluminum foil on a baking pan and place the head of garlic on the foil. Drizzle the garlic head with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the foil around the head and put into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until soft. Remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it. Open up the foil and serve the garlic with toasted bread. You can use the roasted garlic in place of regular garlic in a recipe to add sweetness and caramelized flavor.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Ronda May Melendez
Kingdom Plantae* is so glorious! It is full of life, lessons, encouragement and at moments to be sure, great frustrations! In my mental roaming this morning, I observed differences in my beloved Anthurium.** They sit on sills six feet apart (they are socially aware plants ), face the same side of the house and receive the same lighting. Yet they have had different growth patterns; different flowering times. It is this pattern that caught my attention. I long to see the beautiful Spathe and Spadix. On one planting, there is only one flowering, while the other is loaded. Why? By all indicators, both are healthy plants. They are receiving the same care. Why is one not producing the fruit of their kind as prolifically as the other?
Closer observation brought clearer focus. I noticed the one that is not flowering IS producing! It is producing new leaves and stems; in one area, an entirely new plant has emerged. I realized that the problem is not with the plant. The problem is with the me and my expectations! I want to see the fruit I want, not necessarily the “fruit” of health…sustained growth.
Whether in the garden or on the sill, the plant needs to be healthy and have the capability of growth in order to produce healthy fruit. We must endure the less colorful and the less exciting part of growth, if we are to partake of the goodness of fruit.
I learned this morning that for the Anthurium, every new leafing brings next to it a new flowering that will come in due time. I must learn to value the entire process. The plant is okay with being humble under God’s hand, so that in due time, it may be exalted. Why do I struggle so with the same?
*Kingdom Plantae is defined as every plant
**Anthurium is also called Laceleaf