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Sunday
Jul192009

If You Like Eggs and You Like Plants...

Eggplant!

Summer is in full swing and eggplant is a summer staple. Here at Weiser Family Farm's, we love eggplant so much that we grow three different varieties:

Caliope- These eggplants are tear-drop shaped and are violet streaked with white and very pretty. They are not bitter at all and taste so good.

Green Apple- Tasty pale green round to oval shaped eggplants. Eggplant has an extremely mild flavor and white flesh.

Black Bell- Classic eggplant. Dark in color and delicious.

 

Here is my favorite recipe for eggplant from Hope's Edge by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe:

Grilled Eggplant Steak with Feta & Red Peppers

-Balsamic Marinade-

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce (a low-wheat Japanese soy sauce; if unavailable, other kinds of soy sauce are acceptable)

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

-Salad-

1 medium red bell pepper

1 large eggplant or 3 smaller eggplant (about 1 pound)

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 slices pita bread

  • Prepare grill (or broiler). In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar with tamari, garlic and oil. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  • With a knife, remove the top of bell pepper and the inside seeds. Grill until skin blisters and chars. Place in a closed paper or plastic bag for 10 minutes, allowing the steam to loosen skin. Remove skin (you can place pepper under running water to assist in removal, if needed). Cut into dice and set aside.
  • Cut eggplant lengthwise into 4 slices about 1/2-inch thick, resembling steaks. Place in a 9-by-13-inch glass dish. Pour marinade over eggplant and marinate for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • With tongs, remove eggplant from marinade and grill 2-5 minutes on each side, until fork-tender.
  • In a mixing bowl, place diced pepper, feta, olives and oregano, stirring to combine. Pour leftover eggplant marinade into mixture and stir.
  • Toast or grill pita bread and slice into wedges.
  • To assemble, place pita bread on plate, topping it with an eggplant steak. Spoon feta salad on top of eggplant.
  • Makes 4 servings.

 

Sunday
Jun072009

Mmmmelons!

Now that Bermuda Onions are in season, how could life possibly get any better?

Oh yeah. That's right. Melons.

If there is one thing we love here at Weiser Family Farms, it is melons. This season we plan to have 8 different varieties of melons. Eight! That might seem a little overwhelming, but don't worry. Next weekend we will start with two varieties of melons:

 

Butterscotch Melons- These small melons have a pale green skin and a two-toned green and orange flesh. Many people think the flesh tastes like butterscotch candy because it is so sweet, which is where the name comes from. Ripe melons are paler in color with a sweet sugary aroma.

Cavaillon Melons- These melons are fragrant and have a high sugar content.  They are lime green and have ribbed green stripes.  When the Cavaillon is ripe the skin turns a cream color, the ribbed stripes change to darker green and the stem begins to crack and pulls off easily.

Sounds good, right?

Check out your local California farmer's market next weekend for the first pick of melons.  

 

Saturday
May302009

Bermuda Onions Are Here!

Personally, I have been waiting all year for Bermuda Onion season. And finally, they are here.

To a lot of people Summer means stone fruit and strawberries, but to me it is all about sweet onions. More specifically, Bermudas. Bermudas are mild, sweet and flat in shape like a Cipollini onion, but so much better.

I want you to be as excited as I am, so I am going to give you a recipe from foodnetwork.com. Try it out and see what all the fuss is about.

Caramelized Onion Tart

  • 4 large Bermuda onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, picked
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1(9-inch) parbaked pate brisee tart shell

Directions

Saute onions in oil and butter until caramelized and golden brown, then add thyme and a pinch of salt. Remove from pan and allow to cool. In a bowl, add heavy cream, eggs, nutmeg, and onions, season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into tart shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until center does not jiggle.

(c) Cheryl Smith and Food Network

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