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Thai Basil Eggplant (Pud Makua Yow)


Tom picked these up at his favorite farmers market


Tomatoes, Peppers and Thai Basil grown in my garden


I've been remiss in singing the praises of my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share. Fabulous, pesticide-free fresh produce once a week. How to eat it and use it all before it spoils? It's not always easy and it's rarely convenient. It challenges me and forces me to branch out in my cooking.

I'm lucky that my garden is going gangbusters. I have a huge Thai Basil plant that is seriously overgrown. I've wanted to make tofu basil since, well, forever. Turned out my tofu was a little past prime, but by some good fortune Tom brought home three perfect, slender eggplants so I used those, along with some purple peppers from my garden and a CSA
chile (serrano, I think) and hardneck garlic.



Thai Basil Eggplant (Pud Makua Yow)

Adapted from here and here

1 medium-sized eggplant, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces. (Don't slice into perfect rounds, they tend to stick to the wok)
1/2 red bell pepper, large dice
1/2 green (or purple if you can find it) bell pepper,
large dice
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1-2 Thai or serrano chiles, finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped garlic
a generous handful of fresh Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mild-flavored oil, like canola or sunflower; don't use olive oil

Sauce (adjust depending on how much sauce you prefer):
1-2 tbsp light soy sauce
1-2 tbsp water
2-4 tsp brown or palm sugar

Combine soy sauce, water and brown sugar; set aside.

Heat wok on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tbsp oil (more if you need it) and eggplant. Fry for 2 minutes on either side, eggplant should just start to brown and turn soft. Remove from wok.

Add a little more oil to wok if needed. Toss in onions, and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and glossy. Remove from wok.

Heat remaining oil. Add garlic and chiles, and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sliced peppers and onions; fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Return eggplant to the wok, and toss to combine.

Add sauce to the wok, stirring for 1 minute. Cook until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened (it shouldn't take long). Toss in basil.

Serve hot, by itself in a bowl as I did because I was way too excited about this recipe to think ahead, or if you are more of a planner you might like it with rice.


Summer Bounty: Rosemary Saddleback Potatoes, Baba Ghanouj, Squash Gratin

Oh yes, I've been busy in the kitchen! Between my garden and my CSA share the past couple weeks, there's been lots of food to goad me into trying new recipes.

From my CSA:
  • blue potatoes
  • a medium aubergine (eggplant)
  • a big green zucchini squash grown especially for its blossoms
  • potatoes (plain ol' beige ones)
  • hardneck garlic
From my garden:
  • yellow summer squash
  • heirloom (Stupice) tomatoes
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • parsley
Things that went to waste: shiso and spearmint (well, I did muddle a little of the spearmint in some lemonade).

There were several salads, of course, but you've seen enough of those. My real triumphs were Rosemary Saddleback Potatoes and Baba Ghanouj, both from In Season: Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits.

The Rosemary Saddleback Potatoes were delicious, and oh so simple. Slice the potatoes almost all the way through, insert sprigs of rosemary between the slices, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, bake. My only complaint was that it took about 45 minutes to bake. Patience is not one of my virtues!




The Baba Ghanouj idea came to me as soon as I had my lovely aubergine in hand. It went wonderfully with warm, fresh naan which I made from my beloved ABinFive. I bet their grilled flatbread would be even better!

Grill or broil your eggplant/aubergine* until slightly charred. It should be quite soft, so you may need to cook it a bit longer on a lower setting. Let cool, halve, peel, and toss into a food processor. Add the zest and juice from half a lemon, a garlic clove (two if you love garlic), 2 T. tahini (sesame paste), 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. kosher salt, a pinch of cumin and/or chile powder (go easy, you can always add more).


Since I had a lot of squash and potatoes on my hands, I made two similar dishes that incorporated both. First up, Summer Squash Gratin from 101 Cookbooks (pictured below). A week later I made Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte from Smitten Kitchen. They were both fantastic, and even better when reheated in the oven for maximum crispness of the thinly-sliced potatoes. I think the Smitten Kitchen version is slightly less time-consuming, other than that I couldn't choose a favorite. I'd recommend a mandoline or food processor with slicing blade, in the interest of saving time and your fingers as well as ease of achieving uniform-sized slices.


*My aubergine was rather small, you may find it necessary to increase the cooking time and amount of ingredients if yours are larger.

A Three Day Endurance Event


Please support me as I attempt an endurance event that spans 3 days -- my longest yet! -- in the fight to end breast cancer.

Apparently I'm not allowed to run, so this time, I'll be walking. It should be a whole new kind of challenge.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds from the 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

At the fountain with my Mother
I'm walking in memory of my mother's best friend, Bobbi Gordon; and in honor of my mother JoAnn and everyone who has had to fight this disease.

Please donate - any amount, honestly, will help.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and support!

BEAT CANCER
Because Cancer deserves to be beaten.

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