Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Strange Little Eggplants from the Farm Store

I know, I know. I said I wouldn't post before my trip, but I couldn't stop myself.

Today the Z Food Farm is open down the street. And I have something to tell them. They sold me some small white eggplants that were being overlooked last week, so they probably wont continue to sell them. They were called 'uovo bianco' or something like that. No bigger than a small sized chicken egg and pure white, I immediately thought of them as hors d'oeuvres, and thought of stuffing them.

This is what to do ...
For eight tiny eggplants:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Peel the eggplants, and cut off the tops and with a melon-scoop. Carefully scooped out the center. Interestingly, the first scoop is almost all eggplant, which you will keep for stuffing. The second scoop is mostly seeds, which you can throw out. As you scoop out each eggplant, salt the inside and outside to keep it from turning brown too quickly. Then cut a thin slice off of each bottom, so the eggplants wont roll.

For the stuffing, you can try to use any left-overs: a bit of rice or meat, I used some day-old bread (a great use for homemade bread you can't bear to throw away...).

Dice and sautee in olive oil until well cooked and dry:
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tomato, (slow roasted, if possible) or a Tbsp tomato paste
the eggplant balls

Add to this 1/2 cup of stale bread, or rice, quinoa, what-have-you
Herbs, (I used parsley, oregano, thyme, and basil)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste (remembering there is a bit of salt already on the eggplants.)

Sautee a little longer 2-3 minutes.

Back to the peeled and hollowed-out eggplants. Blot them and stuff them with the filling you just made.
Brush the outside of each with olive oil and place them into a dish small enough to keep them stable.
Add 2 tablespoon stock
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon more of Parmesan cheese
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncovered until eggplants are very tender.

I'm taking these on over to the farm stall and ask them to keep growing those weird vegetables. We'll learn to use them, just give us some time!

P.S. You don't want to waste these veggies. So, if you have any left-over stuffing, add it to eggs and milk (2 tablespoons milk per egg) and bake it as a custard.

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