The Menu

Blistered Shishito Peppers
Heirloom Tomatoes, Peaches and Blueberries Salad
Charred Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Cucumber
Lentil Meatballs with Lemon Pesto
Blueberry Crumbcake

August’s Book Selection

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett


This year’s CSA has seen more than its share of eggplants. Hardly any summer squash but two sometimes three eggplants each week for the past four weeks. So having two beautiful white eggplants in the produce drawer, I knew I had to include them in this months menu.

August also means tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, and basil to me so these personal favorites had to be on the menu too!

Researching recipes, I turned to two recent acquisitions, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte.

Uncooked eggplants

In Plenty I found an adventurous eggplant recipe, Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, which I modified a bit to take into account hard to find ingredients and different portions. Charring the eggplants on my stovetop was something I’d never considered before but the smoky flavor sounded very appealing. And, I was game to give it a try. It didn’t go as easily as described and took double the time to burn the flesh and for the eggplant to become soft. In fact, I roasted it in the oven for 30 minute at 400 degrees to soften it a bit more. Even so about 1/3 of each eggplant was still rather firm which added texture and dimension to the dish. And in hind sight, probably is how the recipe is suppose to be.

Eggplant burning 2

I wanted to make some basil pesto and was looking for a recipe that used pesto when I found “Lentil Meatballs with Lemon Pesto” in Sprouted Kitchen. It was the perfect companion to the eggplant dish and tomatoes salad, since it offered a light yet substantial protein entree.

Lentil Meatballs with lemon Pesto2

Setting out to the farmer’s market to pick-up produce not included in this past weeks CSA, I immediately spotted Shishito peppers and while I hadn’t planned on serving them. I had to buy them. They are like crack. How can something so good for you (excepted that they are sauteed) taste like the best junk food.

Shishito Peppers

Practically every booth at the green market had great looking Heirloom Tomatoes. It was hard to choose, so I opted for cooking by color and knew it would taste great. I bought green (they were ripe tomatoes), orange, yellow and red heirloom tomatoes. The peaches were another story. None were ripe or close to ripe so I decided I would be better off at Fairway or Trader Joe’s. I was right, I found some juicy, sweet almost ripe donut peaches that would be perfect the following day when I made the salad. The blueberries were plump and sweet and I bought 2 pints so I could freeze some to use when the weather turned cold.

The dinner was delicious and the discussion lively.

Blueberry crumb cake