CSA COOKOFF WEEK 15: WHAT WE GOT IN OUR FARM SHARE & HOW WE USED IT
1. Tomatoes: Pizza! With spicy peppers (number 4) and not-so-spicy peppers (number 2).
2. Bell pepper: Pizza! See number 1.
3. Green beans: See this week’s featured recipe, below.
4. Spicy peppers: Pizza (see number 1), chilaquiles, and this week’s featured recipe, below.
5. Eggplant: See this week’s featured recipe, below.
6. Apples: Snacks. Crispy, sweet, tangy snacks.
7. Lettuce: Salad for lunch, along with the spicy mix (number 8).
8. Spicy mix: Ditto above.
9. Kale: Sautéed with garlic and, yep, snuck into mac and cheese.
THIS WEEK’S RECIPE: MAPO EGGPLANT
Emeril, whose recipe I borrowed and tweaked a bit according to what I had on hand (spicy peppers!), calls this dish eggplant and green beans in spicy garlic sauce. I’m calling it mapo eggplant, because it strikes me as a great twist on the Szechuan standard mapo tofu, with eggplant in place of the tofu. While eggplant has won me over so that I’m no longer trying to cover it up or sneak it into dishes, this was the first recipe where I actually wanted even more eggplant. (Sort of like more cowbell except, you know, less crazy. And more delicious.)
» 6 oz ground pork
» 1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
» ½ cup plus 1 tsp olive or veggie oil
» ½ to ¾ lb green beans
» 1 large eggplant, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch slices
» 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
» 1 to 2 spicy peppers, thinly sliced
» ½ cup basil leaves, torn
» 2/3 cup stock (or wine or beer)
» 4 ½ Tbsp hoisin sauce
» 2 Tbsp vinegar
» 1 Tbsp Sriracha
» 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
» 1 tsp flour
Combine the pork with the soy sauce and let stand. Meanwhile, bring a wok up to high heat then add ¼ cup oil. When hot, carefully add the green beans and stir-fry until the beans are slightly wrinkled, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beans and transfer onto a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Add ¼ cup oil and the eggplant to the wok and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove the eggplant and set aside.
Add the garlic, basil, and peppers and cook 10 to 15 seconds. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until it changes color, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the eggplant to the wok, add the stock or other liquid, hoisin, vinegar, Sriracha, sweet chili sauce, and remaining tsp oil. Stir to mix well, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the eggplant is tender, about 8 minutes. Return the beans to the wok, add the flour and bring the mixture to a boil. When the sauce has thickened, serve immediately.
We ate one bowl apiece over short-grain brown rice. And then we ate another bowl apiece. And then we managed to let good sense rule and we stopped eating—reluctantly. Happy farm sharing!
CSA Cookoff is HOMEGROWN’s ongoing series devoted to putting all that farm share bounty to good use. What did you get this week? And what did you make with it? Post a comment and share the farm share love!