Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Farm Share, Week 9

Well, it’s the last week of the farm share blogs. And what a great week to end it on. We got tons of beautiful looking stuff (please see right).

Aren't those fairytale eggplant so pretty? And we finally got (two measly) tomatoes!!! And BS leaves again, oh shoot. But still, give me at least some tomatoes, and I am a happy camper.

Alas, my vacation to-do list is creeping up on me. So this blog posting will only have one dish in it. But it’s a perfect one to end on. It’s a great way to use lots of vegetables at their peak, all in one meal that is hearty and delicious. Readers, I give you, ratatouille. Or, more fully, Ratatouille over Goat Cheese Polenta. Make it for yourself, your friends, a dinner party full of people. Everyone will love this one.

Ratatouille over Goat Cheese Polenta
Used: Fairy tale eggplant, tomatoes (ok, no I just ate those raw right away), squash, peppers, basil

4-5 small fairytale eggplant (or other eggplant)
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped fine
¾ cup of ground tomatoes, canned (or if you are lucky, two small ripe tomatoes, pureed)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper

1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
½ a log of goat cheese
3 cups water
Salt and pepper

Start the polenta first, because it can take a while. Heat up the water in a saucepan with high sides (as high as you have). When it is boiling, slowly pour in the polenta (watch out, it sometimes bubbles at you), and turn the heat down to medium low. If it is still spattering, turn it to low. Stir the polenta frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom. The polenta is done when you can stand a wooden spoon in the middle, and it doesn’t fall over (or, you can just taste it, but don’t burn your tongue!) When it is done, turn the heat off and add salt, pepper, and goat cheese. Stir until incorporated.

While the polenta is cooking, make the ratatouille. Please note, if you don’t have quite enough of one thing, no worries! You can adapt this to whatever you have. I didn’t have enough zucchini and it came out just fine; I added a bit more eggplant. Cut eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers into 1/2-inch chunks. In a large heavy skillet cook eggplant in 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat, stirring (and adding a bit of salt and pepper), until tender and transfer to a bowl. In skillet cook zucchini, yellow squash, and onion with salt and pepper to taste in 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes, and transfer to bowl. Cook bell peppers in remaining teaspoon oil in same manner, and when they are done, add the garlic in, wait 10 seconds, and then add back in all the other vegetables. Then stir in tomato purée, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Make sure it tastes good now!

Put the polenta in bowls, and top it with the ratatouille. So delicious, so colorful, and so many vegetables in one meal. Noah didn’t miss the meat and neither will you. This is also a great dish for winter time --- while the veggies aren’t as fresh, it will be oh-so-satisfying to have a heaping bowl of this on a cold day. Let’s not think about those days right now though.

Thank you to everyone who was following my Summer Farm Share adventure this season. As I mentioned before, I have a Fall share too now, but I won’t be holding myself elaborately accountable of everything I make on this blog. I will be posting weekly though, about something new from the farm share that I think you all might like to know.

Until then, keep cooking! See you all in the Fall! 

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