Thursday, July 14, 2011

Notes From Nikki-Eggplant Medley, Roasted Beets/Carrots, and Smashed Pink Potatoes

Here are three great recipes from Nikki. If you are planning on feeding a bigger group, and you don't have time to stockpile your share contents like Nikki, I encourage you to come on out to the Friday Farmstand (2-7PM). I will have many of this week's share items available for purchase, along with cherry tomatoes and bouquets of flowers. Perfect for weekend entertaining. Enjoy Nikki's delicious recipe creations.

Roasted Eggplant Medley with Tomatoes, Lemon Basil, and Feta
I don't know about you, but I tend to stock-pile parts of our Inverbrook share until I have enough of an ingredient to create a dish that will feed my family. This has been the case over the last two weeks with eggplant. Last week I came away from the shed with just two tiny purple and white streaked eggplant, which I promptly put in a plastic bag and stored in the crisper (eggplant can be saved for quite a while this way). This week, I chose a couple with more girth, one white, and one a pale green. Along with the four small yellow tomatoes we came away with on Monday, I used this eggplant medley to produce the following dish. It made a fabulous lunch! Two of my kids and I shared it. I hope you enjoy it too!


4 small eggplant (preferably of different varieties), trimmed and sliced about 1/4" (no need to be overly-precise)
4 small tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 garlic scapes, chopped (or garlic cloves, minced)
3-4 T extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Splash of balsamic vinegar (1-2 T)
Small handful of finely chopped lemon basil (any basil will do... lemon is my favorite for brightening a roasted dish like this)
Handful of crumbled feta cheese (we used Highland Farm's sheep feta, my absolute favorite feta on earth)

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Drizzle the bottom of a roasting pan with the olive oil, and add the eggplant slices, tomatoes, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Toss a bit, and spread out evenly so that you have one layer.
3. Roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, turning the eggplant slices about halfway through. Roast until the eggplant is cooked through. The tomatoes will be super-roasted and will fall apart creating a sauce of sorts.
4. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, fold in the basil, and turn out onto a plate (make sure to get all the yummy juices off the pan too).
5. Top with the feta and a bit more fresh ground pepper if desired.
6. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4

I am a sucker for banana fingerling potatoes, and, until Monday, I have overlooked the other potato offerings when picking up our Inverbrook share. This week, I decided to give the pink-flesh potatoes a try. What a gorgeous treat this turned out to be! The following recipe resulted in a beautiful array of pink and green that tasted as good as it looked. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


2 bunches of perpetual spinach (or other cooking greens), tough stems removed, chopped
2-3 cloves minced raw garlic (cured cloves are fine too, or use up any garlic scapes you may have lying in the bottom of your crisper... we still have a couple, they seem to last forever)
Glug of extra-virgin olive oil
Approximately 2 lbs. new potatoes (as noted above, we used pink-fleshed potatoes, but any new potatoes will do), scrubbed if needed
1/2-1 stick of butter
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-2 C milk

1. Boil the potatoes until tender.
2. While the potatoes are boiling, saute the garlic and spinach in olive oil until the spinach is just wilted.
3. Drain the potatoes, add the butter, sea salt, pepper, and milk (start with 1 C) to the pot, and smash the mixture together with a potato masher.
4. Once the potatoes are roughly mashed, stir the mixture together with a spoon, adding more milk (if necessary) to get the consistency you prefer.
5. Fold in the sauteed spinach and garlic.
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
7. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Roasted Baby Carrots and Beets with Honey Dill Vinaigrette
They may be tiny, but the baby carrots and beets from our Inverbrook share pack a serious punch. They are full of delicious, complex flavor. Roasting them makes the flavor even more intense. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe that is as beautiful as it is delicious!


Approximately 20 or so baby carrots, tops removed
Approximately 10 or so baby beets, greens removed
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

Handful of dill (no thick stems, we still had some leftover in the crisper from last week's share)
3-4 T oilve oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1-2 T honey
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Drizzle two small roasting pans with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
3. Lay the beets on one roasting pan, and the carrots on the other, shake the pans back and forth a bit to coat, and tent both pans with foil.
4. While the carrots and beets are roasting, process the dill, olive oil, vinegar, honey, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth and emulsified (you can also do this by hand with a wire whisk, just finely chop the dill first).
5. Roast the beets and carrots until firm tender. (They will likely be done at different times.)
6. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets and discard them.
7. Toss the beets, carrots, and as much of the dressing as desired together, turn out onto a plate, and serve. (Any remaining dressing will save nicely in an airtight container in the fridge.)
8. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

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