Last Saturday I walked down around noon. I was prepared for barren stands, ebbing crowds and sold out apple cider donuts. To my pleasure, every stand was in full force, produce abundant. Well, the donuts were gone, but they never make it past 10am.
Greeted by sunflowers, corn and tomatoes; I’ll take all three please.
Haven’t even circled the place once yet and I’m sucked in by these purple beauties.
And this deep purple beauty.
Sweet Baby Vineyards, a boutique winery located in the small town of Kensington, New Hampshire, offered fruit wines (blueberry, peach, raspberry), white table wines, and as described by the kind sales rep., “dangerously smooth” red wines. Do you take credit cards? (Four stands in and my cash flow was low). Yes. OK. We’re in business. Marèchal Foch, a medium bodied fruity, semi-dry red wine with soft tannins and hints of fresh blackberries, aka the “dangerously smooth” red wine was selected without much debate.
Look at these large green cucs! Is it sad I didn’t even have 50 cents for a cucumber?Yes, but look at what I did come home with! No regrets.
Onto the main course...what I made this week with my bounty:
...with corn on the cob
Summer Eggplant "Parm"
Pardon my eggplant, but right now, in this moment, you need to know how to make this summer eggplant "parm." Clearly, ask me if you want info. on anything posted here, but we must focus on the eggplant. The eggplant.
Step 1: Salt your eggplant. I never salted eggplant before cooking until this week. Trust me, you want to. The salt draws out the liquid and improves the eggplant's naturally bitter taste. Pour salt on the plate, place the eggplant on top, salt the top of the eggplant. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes. MAKE SURE TO RINSE THE EGGPLANT WHEN DONE. Sorry I just screamed at you, but seriously, you don't want heavily salted eggplant. Ew.
Step 2: While the eggplant is getting its salt on, chop tomatoes and slice mozzarella cheese. I used roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step 3: When the oven is ready and your eggplants have been rinsed of salt, roast them for 20 minutes on each side.
Step 4: Rinse and cook quinoa according to package instructions.Step 5: Top with mozz cheese and tomatoes when there are a few minutes left. If you like, broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese perfect. This picture was taken pre-broil.
Step 6: Plate eggplant slices on top of quinoa.
I didn't want this meal to end.
Can you tell? The quinoa, which I must admit, I was hesitant to try in place of traditional pasta, was worth it. The little grains formed to the eggplant to create a subtle crunch similar to that of the fried eggplant in eggplant parmesan. The tomatoes, fresh and flavorful, outperformed any and all marinara sauces. Fresh mozzarella > shredded. I enjoyed the leftover eggplant later in the week for lunch. Popped the eggplant, cheese and tomatoes in the toaster oven for a few minutes, laid spinach on a wrap and rolled it all up.
If you frequent a farmer's market on the weekends, I sincerely hope you fancy the eggplant this time around. Something different and something purple. Get silly.