Valley Bounty: Eggplant
The “aubergine”, as it’s called in the UK, has its roots in Asia, where it has been cultivated since prehistory. The American name “eggplant” is likely derived from cultivars that were white or slightly yellow and “of the bigness of a goose egg,” (according to one 16th century botanical text), which were once much more common than they are today, having been mostly supplanted by the large, deep purple variety familiar to us. In some traditions, eating eggplant is thought to be a cause of insanity, hence the nickname “mad apple”—though the effects of eating the eggplant that came in my farm share last weekend just seemed more like satisfaction and fullness.
As much as I love eggplant parmesan, it can be a little much for a hot summer night, which is why I opted to turn mine into baba ganoush instead. Cut your eggplant in half and grill or roast it until it is charred and tender. After giving it a few minutes to cool, scoop out the insides into a bowl and combine with olive oil, tahini (about 3tbsp each per pound of eggplant), a few cloves of minced garlic, a splash of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Use in any way you would use hummus—as a dip, on a sandwich, on toast, etc.
Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)