from Wellspring Charitable Gardens This Week - September 29, 2022
From the Garden this Week… Eggplant, Butternut Squash, Purple “Green” Beans, Cucumber, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Red Lettuce, Radishes, Beets, Parsley, Rosemary, Basil, Apples & Cattails for Table Decoration
Coming Soon… Arugula and Green Lettuce
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
In this week’s eggplant recipe, I used a technique to season the eggplant with salt and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Some chefs state that this helps to remove any bitterness. I think that it might be unnecessary if your eggplant isn’t bitter in the first place. You might have noticed that there can be differences in the different varieties of eggplant that we grow. I do think that in this grilled eggplant recipe salting the eggplant ahead of time, helps the eggplant cook faster. You can try it either way and experiment as you like. For this recipe, make sure to allow enough time for the eggplant to soak up the marinade after cooking. You can make this several hours ahead if needed.
Grilled Eggplant with Marinated Tomato,
Herb, and Feta Cheese
2 eggplants, sliced into ½ inch slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs,
basil, and parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half or
4 ounces feta cheese
* Slice 2 eggplants 1/2 inch thick; lay on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let sit 10 minutes, then pat dry. In a large bowl, combine extra-virgin olive oil with 1 grated garlic clove, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, mix well. Add in the tomatoes and feta cheese to the oil mixture and stir gently. After patting the eggplant slices with a dry towel, grill over medium-high heat, flipping about every 2 minutes until cooked. Remove from the grill and place the slices on a platter. Drizzle the slices with the feta-tomato-herb oil and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Roasted Eggplant with Tomato, Feta, Garlic, and Herbs
By Cindi J Martin
This is another variation of Julie’ recipe where the eggplant is roasted and sliced lengthwise. Done in 35 minutes, this eggplant is roasted on a parchment or cooking sprayed pan at 420 degrees in a toaster or conventional oven.
* Cut an Italian Globe eggplant in half lengthwise. Start at the “neck” of the eggplant and moving from right to left, slice ¼ inch lengths from top to bottom while leaving about ¼ inch from the neck edge uncut so the long slices can fan out without breaking. Slice tomatoes in half and then slice with cut side down. Place two slices of tomato between each slice of eggplant. Brush top lightly with olive oil, salt lightly, and bake at 420 deg. for 20 minutes. While baking, chop 1tbsp. basil & parsley, 1 tsp. rosemary & thyme, one minced or pressed garlic clove, 1 tsp. lemon zest, ¼ tsp. dried chili flakes, salt, and pepper; then stir together with one tablespoon of olive oil. After eggplant and tomatoes bake for 20 minutes, brush with herb mixture and crumble 4 oz. of feta on top. Bake 10-15 min. more until the feta is slightly browned. Enjoy!
Winter squash makes a good base for this spicy blended soup. It can take on the strong flavors of the curry powder and hot pepper. The curry goes well with coconut, which allows you to make this recipe dairy free. If you don’t have coconut milk, you can use regular milk as an alternative.
Curry Butternut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1-2 hot peppers, chopped (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups peeled & chopped butternut squash
1 14-ounce can coconut milk or 2 cups whole milk
2 cups vegetable broth or water
In a large soup pot, heat the oil and cook the onion over medium heat until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic, pepper, salt, curry powder, and cinnamon, stir until fragrant about 1-2 minutes, but don’t let the garlic or spices burn. Add the butternut squash, coconut milk, and broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 15 minutes until the squash is tender. Blend with an immersion blender or a regular blender until smooth. Taste and add salt if desired. Adjust the consistency by adding a few tablespoons of water if needed. Serve right away.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
Blessing in Tears
by Cindi J Martin
With our current political, social, and economic upheaval, many of us feel captive to malicious forces beyond our control. Perhaps you can relate to the Psalmist who wrote, “Restore our captivity, O Lord, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” His poignant prayer offers wise instruction on how to grieve intense loss without losing hope.
Uncertain times move us to pray for the return of stability, opportunity, and prosperity. As we wait for restoration, the Psalmist declares that we must live with hope, must keep going to and fro, carrying our bag of seeds and sowing, despite our distress, if we are to eventually reap a harvest. He also declares tears are a necessary companion to such painful growing and harvesting conditions. Emotional integrity - the ability to be emotionally honest with myself, God, and others - is vital to maintaining spiritual, emotional, and interpersonal well-being during times of crisis and loss. If you are one of those stoic people who fiercely holds back tears, perhaps the findings in studies on the relationship between crying and stress reduction will give you courage to let your tears flow when you are feeling hurt or sad or mad or desperate. Research shows that crying LOWERS the stress chemical called Cortisol in your brain. People who “hold back” their tears, instead of “letting the tears flow,” DO NOT reap the benefit from this stress reliever.
Wonderful confirmation for those of us who cry! If you aren’t acquainted with the blessing in tears, try “letting go” instead of “holding back.” You will experience some needed freedom and relief once the precious energies you expend restraining your emotions are redirected toward carrying and sowing your seeds in hope.