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This week at our Boston Farmers' Markets

Dudley Town Common Farmers Market
intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street
Tuesday and Thursdays 3-7pm

Bowdoin Street Health Center Farmers Market
230 Bowdoin St, Dorchester
Thursdays 2:30-6:30pm

Boston Medical Center Farmers Market!
Main Lobby, Massachusetts Ave.
Fridays 11am-2pm

This Week

We'll have: Kale, Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Big Beef Tomatoes, Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes, Red and Yellow Onions, Green Beans, Eggplant, Japanese Eggplant, Beets, Carrots, Summer Squash, Scallions, Collard Greens, Salad Mix, Lettuce, Basil, Apples, and Pears

Volunteer days are Tuesdays, Thursdays (starting this week) and Saturdays (starting September 12) from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm through October 31st. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we'll be harvesting the produce that goes to market. On Saturdays, volunteers are led in doing field work by the awesome young people in the Academic Year Program. Come meet them!

Eggplant

japanese eggplants
japanese eggplants
 Eggplant, a nightshade, produces a beautiful fruit (botanically classified as a berry) which is a versatile ingredient. Named “Eggplant” because some of the 18th century European cultivars were white and resembled a goose egg, it can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be stewed, roasted, mashed, or sliced, breaded, and fried. I’ve even seen it used to encase a pasta pie, called Timbale. Eggplant is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but roasting it is delicious too.

Eggplant has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years and became known to the Western world around 1500 CE. The different varieties of the plant produce fruit in wide range of size, shape, and color, though there are two purple varieties that are most common in the United States The most common is a large bulbous variety (affectionately described by wikipedia as an elongated ovoid), and a narrower Chinese variety (sometimes called Japanese eggplants) is also popular.

85% of the world’s Eggplant comes from China, India, and Egypt, so we at The Food Project are happy to be doing our part to provide our friends and neighbors with this culinary treat without all the shipping. Enjoy!

Recipes

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces ricotta cheese
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups pasta sauce

DIRECTIONS

Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt. Place slices in a colander, and place a dish underneath the colander to capture liquid that will sweat out of the eggplant. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix in egg and basil.
Rinse the eggplant in cold water until all salt is removed. In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Place one layer of eggplant in the pan, brown each side. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices, using additional oil if necessary.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish, evenly spread 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce. Arrange a single layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Top the eggplant with 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layering process until all the eggplant and cheese mixture is used. Pour remaining sauce on top of layers, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake 30 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbly.

Baba Ghanoush

1 eggplant
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off.
Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Vegetarian Moussaka

1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/2 (14.5 ounce) can lentils, drained, juice reserved
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
black pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown eggplant and zucchini slices on both sides; drain. Adding more oil if necessary, brown potato slices; drain.
Saute onion and garlic until lightly browned. Pour in vinegar and reduce. Stir in tomatoes, lentils, 1/2 the juice from lentils, oregano and parsley. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes.
In a 9x13 inch casserole dish layer eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions and feta. Pour tomato mixture over vegetables; repeat layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant and zucchini.
Cover and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine butter, flour and milk. Bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly until thick and smooth. Season with pepper and add nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, and stir in beaten egg.
Pour sauce over vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 25 to 30 minutes.

-- Jess Liborio, Urban Grower 

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