18,000 pounds! As of the third week in August, this was the amount of produce distributed to our 16 community partners and Sack Suppers from both farms. With so much more to come, we expect to see us hit our output goals by the season end.
Crops like peppers and tomatoes are always at the top of the list for community requests, but the popular kid on the block has been something new: eggplant! With almost 700 pounds distributed so far this year, this sometimes-underrated gem of the garden has found a happy place in the fields of the KFB Farms. Used for much more than eggplant parm, this dark purple beauty is one of the most versatile crops from the garden. It can be grilled quickly and easily with just a brush of olive oil and seasoned to taste. It is delicious breaded and fried, or my favorite way is to use it for what it really is: a sponge! This fruit has a large body that is very absorbent once the outer skin is broken.
A James Beard award-winning chef who hosted a couple Farm to Table Dinners for us shared this easy and delicious process of preparing eggplant with me:
- If using baby eggplants, the stems can remain but remove stems from larger varieties.
- You simply wash the eggplant, take a sharp knife and slice a couple lines down the length of the eggplant piercing its skin.
- Set aside in an oven dish that allows for the eggplants to be submerged in liquid later.
- On a cutting board cut up fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh parsley, a jalapeno if you want it spicy, or roasted some red bell peppers on a grill or oven for a different flavor.
- Take all these fresh ingredients and toss in the blender with a splash of olive oil and seasoning (Salt, Pepper…) or one could include a splash of balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, there really is no wrong way when it comes to the different flavors one’s pallet may prefer.
- Now, for the fun part…Blend all these fresh ingredients until they become a sauce, add more olive oil if too thick. Amounts for this will vary depending on family size and amount of eggplant to be used.
- Take the eggplant that were set aside in the oven dish and simply pour the blended sauce in the dish filling until most of the eggplants are submerged.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 -45 minutes depending on thickness of your eggplant.
- Allow to cool and serve. This can also be placed in the fridge and served cold over the next couple days with the flavors getting better each day.
Give eggplant a try this season and let us know what you think! It’s a simple, healthy way to mix up your meals and enjoy the harvest!
Farmer Jason and Grow Team