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from Wellspring Charitable Gardens This Week - August 25, 2022

From the Garden this Week… Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Green and Purple Beans, Eggplant, Shallots, Melon, Basil, Cilantro, Dill, & Lavender

Coming Soon… Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Eggplant is a vegetable that can be difficult to cook if you are unfamiliar with it. Eggplant needs to be cooked thoroughly until it is soft. If it is under cooked it will be rubbery and chewy. When cooked completely it should be soft. It is the perfect vegetable to soak up other flavors of the dish. The skin can add texture to the soft flesh, but if you don’t like it just peel the eggplant with a vegetable peeler before cutting into cubes. The flesh of the eggplant with start to turn brown as soon as it is exposed to air, but it will also change with cooking and does not matter that it starts to brown before. This week we just have enough for one per basket, so provided this pasta recipe to mix other vegetables together in a simple stir-fry before making a light sauce with white wine and olive oil. Make sure that the eggplant is soft before adding the other items.

Pasta Fresca (Fresh Pasta)

8 ounces dry linguine or spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 summer squash, halved and cubed

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

¼ cup dry white wine

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

*Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain pasta, and set It aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, ½ teaspoon salt, and stir. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the summer squash, garlic, and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, and cook 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a boil. Add pasta, then toss to coat with the vegetables. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, basil, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.