Thursday, September 16, 2010
Stone Soup Farm CSA Week Fifteen
I know I said this last week, but I love this part of the year, all the jumping back and forth between fall produce and summer vegetables. Last week we got acorn squash and cabbage, this week eggplant and corn. And also: two pounds of carrots, two tomatoes, three big potatoes, a few onions, a head of broccoli, and a bunch of parsley.
It feels like I haven't quite gotten my fill of eggplant yet this year (I've actually got another eggplant recipe on the docket), so I bought another eggplant at the farmer's market on the way home from picking up the CSA. Last week's cabbage was still in the fridge, and I thought they might be nice together. I tossed the sliced eggplant with a little oil and some five spice powder, then baked it at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I like baking eggplant because you can use much less oil - eggplants are super absorbent, and if you cook them in a pan with oil every time you turn around the pan will be dry. I sauteed the shredded cabbage with some homemade hot sauce and added some soba noodles for bulk. Hot spicy plus five spicy equals delicious dinner.
Five Spice Eggplant with Spicy Sauteed Cabbage
I thought about calling this a stir-fry because it's sort of in that vein, but, um, I baked half of it. If you didn't make your own hot sauce (but why? it's so easy and delicious!) then use sriracha or something similar. I'd use two small eggplants instead of one large one, and if you can find the skinny Japanese kind, that would be ideal. Don't use the biggest eggplant you can find, the big ones are often bitter so it's not really a good shortcut.
2 small eggplants
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 medium head napa cabbage
1 tablespoon chili garlic hot sauce (more or less to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 more tablespoons vegetable oil
another 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 package soba noodles
chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the eggplants about 1/3 inch thick in halves or quarters depending on the size of the vegetable. Combine three tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1/2 a teaspoon of sesame oil and the five-spice powder and toss with the eggplant slices, making sure each slice is coated. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay the eggplant slices out on it in a single layer, sprinkle with salt, then bake for 20 minutes. You may want to flip them once if you think of it.
Slice the cabbage into thin strips. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the cabbage, in batches if necessary - maybe let half of it cook down before you add the other half. After a all the cabbage is in the pan, add the garlic and hot sauce and continue cooking until cabbage is just tender. Turn off the heat if the eggplant isn't done yet.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package directions.
When the eggplant is tender, remove it from the oven and add it to the pan with the cabbage. When the noodles are done, drain them and add them to the pan as well. Toss to combine, plate, and garnish with chives.