Archive for the ‘Loving Local Blogathon’ Category

Kate’s Punjab Eggplant

Friday, September 24th, 2010

As regular readers know, I ran a Blogathon a while back. Loving Local was designed to attract bloggers throughout the state to explore the tastes, the politics, the sights, and the comforts of food produced here in the Bay State. It spanned Massachusetts Farmers Market Week in late August.
One reporter unfamiliar with the term “Blogathon” asked whether as organizer I would have to type on my computer for 24 hours straight. Happily, this was not the case, although it was certainly a busy week.
My job was to keep track of and list the different internet essays as people posted them on their blogs. I also encouraged contributors to keep on writing and answered questions via the Blogathon’s Facebook page.
In addition, I posted a couple of brief recipes on my own blog. I would have written more, but I barely had time to cook!
Of course, along the way I found lots of new writers to follow and lots of fun new recipes to try. Here is one of those recipes, courtesy of Kate Carcio of Village Veggies.
Kate lives smack in the middle of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, where she and her husband have transformed what used to be a front yard into a huge garden. She began blogging last year. At Village Veggies she shares her adventures, some of her recipes, and the tally of how much food she has put up so far this year. (It’s impressive!)
Kate contributed a local chocolate-chip cookie recipe to the Blogathon, which I will try in the winter, but this recipe really stole my heart because I’m a big fan of both eggplant and Indian spices.
Here is her recipe without a lot of change. (You can see her original post here!) I did mess with it a bit when I made it, using regular salt instead of garlic salt (because that’s what I had), and adding a few different spices as well as a sprinkling of lemon juice at the end. And I only made a half recipe (using three teeny tiny eggplants) since I wasn’t feeding a crowd. I didn’t try the alternate method.

Feel free to adapt the recipe to your taste. Whether you make it your way or as Kate wrote it, it should end up aromatic and satisfying.

The Eggplant
2 medium eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 large tomato (about 1-1/2 cups chopped)
1 cup rehydrated beans of your choice (Tinky used lentils)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Slice the eggplants and place them, center down, on a greased baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees until the eggplants are soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. When they cool, scrape out the eggplant flesh, mash it, and set it aside, discarding the skin. (You may perform this step a day in advance and refrigerate the mashed flesh until it is needed.)
Alternate method: You may also chop up 1 of the eggplants and placed it in a greased baking dish. Then roast it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes for broiled eggplant. This way the overall dish will be a little chunkier, but you must roast at least 1 of the eggplants in the manner described above to make a good sauce.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until tender, approximately 7 minutes.
Add all the spices except the garam masala and continue to sauté another minute until the vegetables are fragrant.
Add the eggplant flesh, the tomatoes, and 1 cup water. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the eggplant and tomatoes have made a thick paste.
Remove the cover, add the beans and the garam masala, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve over rice or with naan—or both! If you have a lot of eggplant, double the recipe and freeze some for a later date. The flavors will be better the longer you wait! 

Serves 6.

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Loving Local Peach Crumble

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I thought I’d get one more quick post in during the Loving Local Blogathon. I could go on and on about all the reasons for loving fresh, local peaches—but do I really have to?
They’re fresh, local peaches, for goodness’ sake!
Nothing is sweeter, juicier, or more beautiful. Their delicate consistency embodies the fleeting summer days. Their color reflects the August sun.

I am actually a little loath to cook them since they’re so wonderful raw, but yesterday for variety I threw together a crumble. I love crumbles; they’re easier than pies and lighter than crisps. 

Make this, and you too will Love Local.

This post is part of the Loving Local Blogathon, taking place from August 22 to 28 as part of Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week.
Hosted by this very blog with help from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Mass Farmers Markets, the Blogathon celebrates the flavors of the Bay State and raises awareness of the bounty all around us. 

It also raises funds for Mass Farmers Markets, a charitable nonprofit organization that helps farmers markets throughout Massachusetts. Please support this worthy cause if you can; here’s the donation link.

A note about the spices: personally, I’m not a big fan of peaches and ginger as a combination. I think the ginger overwhelms the peaches. So if you’re like me, you may omit the ginger. I include it for all those peachy ginger fans out there in the blogosphere.
5 to 6 cups peach slices
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger (optional)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the fruit in a 9-inch pie pan. (Make sure you have a cookie sheet under the pan; those peaches can be juicy!)
Sprinkle on the sugar and spices. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter with knives or a pastry blender. (Your hands will do in a pinch.) Add the brown sugar and mix again until crumbly. 

Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the peaches, pressing down lightly. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Serves 6 to 8. This crumble may be served warm or cold.

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Day Seven (Saturday)

Saturday, August 28th, 2010


Today is the last day of the Loving Local blogathon. Thanks to everyone who has written, read, and donated to Mass Farmers Markets!

Here are the posts we are learning about on Saturday.

Teresa of Farm Share Stories pens a sonnet to her little white eggplant.

JJ of Cuisine en Locale sings the season’s praises.

Betsy at A Plateful of Happiness uses her farmers market haul for an after-work Asian-inspired pasta salad with summer vegetables.

Meghan of Travel, Wine, and Dine sums up her season of produce in words and pictures in honor of Farmers’ Market Week.

Pure Wellness Amy shows off her sense of humor and her culinary skills with a colorful green bean salad.

Sarah in the Kitchen plans a gluten-free meal around her ancho chicken chili.

I, Tinky of In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens, go peachy kean with a summery crumble.

Catherine of Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness transforms peaches into Loving Local candy.

Myrna of The PescoVegetarian Times samples local products and explains why every week is Farmers’ Market Week at her house.

Nikki at Art and Lemons comes home from the Falmouth Farmers Market with goodies–and a story.

Julie of How Does YOUR Garden Grow? shares a plateful of joy as she extols Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton.

Kathleen of Parlez-Moi Blog remembers a youth of roasting corn and catching frogs and shares a cucumber-salad recipe.

Kel at More Cupcakes! shares her recipe for wheat berry tabouleh (and manages to work in the word “chiffonade”).

Joe at Somerville Local First discusses the ways in which the local-food movement is influencing the local movement in general.

We have TWO posts from First, Jeremy discusses the consequences of buying blueberries in bulk. Next, Emma chronicles the summer’s explosion of tomatoes.

We belatedly discovered a post from Monday by Jeremy at Basic Eating in which he discussed his challenge for the week–to discover four edible plants within fifty feet of his front door!

In what I think is our 100th post (although I’m a little bleary eyed so I’ll have to recount later!), Michael of My World by Michael writes of his love for spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce.

Rob at Baked Orchard shares his experience at the Framingham Farmers Market.

Disposable Aardvarks returns with two great lunch recipes and a farmer’s market tour.

Abbe from Out of the Box doesn’t let a little thing like a camping trip get in the way of using and eating a LOT of peaches.

Lara of Good Cook Doris! surveys her local loot before showing off a simple, tasty main dish.

Late Additions:

This one was actually early–but we missed it! Ellen at Bottomless Kitchen announced the blogathon and put in a plea for funds for farmers markets.

Maleah at MassMoms wrote about teaching her little boy where good food comes from.

And Kathleen at Parlez-Moi Blog explains how the blogathon reunited old friends.

Day Six (Friday)

Friday, August 27th, 2010


Friday looks like a busy and delicious day for the Loving Local blogathon! If you like what you read, please donate to Mass Farmers Markets…..

Bianca of Confessions of a Chocoholic roasts green and yellow beans and garnishes them with truffle butter … mmm.

Kathleen of Parlez-Moi Blog provides four separate recipes to recreate her family’s lavish traditional potato-pancake picnic

Martin of Free Range at Madroño Ranch in Texas tells of his favorite romantic Massachusetts meal–one at which he wasn’t even present! 

Christy at The Outer Aisle has TWO new posts. First, she makes a simple stir fry with Asian eggplant from her CSA.  Next, she delves into her farmshare and comes up with … callaloo soup (and a little Jimmy Buffett–or should we say Buffet?).

Jeremy of Basic Eating goes back to his front door for a little wood sorrel.

Kate at Village Veggies concocts a succulent Punjab eggplant.

Kel of More Cupcakes! provides our second callalou recipe of the day. (Now, that’s a phrase you don’t hear every day!)

Jillian of (Mis)Adventures with Food gets a few surprises when she tries toasting watermelon seeds.

Catherine of Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness makes quick pickles with her extra zucchini.

Krista of Disposable Aardvarks gets creative with kale.

Pat the Commonweeder lists ten reasons to shop at farmers markets and comes up with a new local food slogan.

Nikki at Art and Lemons lists five ways to eat more beets along with a recipe for marinated beet salad.

Day Five (Thursday)

Thursday, August 26th, 2010


The blogathon entries are still coming in fast and furiously. Here are today’s additions. While you’re reading, PLEASE remember to donate to Mass Farmers Markets to help keep our state’s markets strong.


I, Tinky at In Our Grandmothers Kitchens, finally get into the act with summery corn fritters and salsa fresca.

Teresa of Farm Share Stories ponders the reasons for eating local food.

Kel at More Cupcakes! opens her farmshare box and makes roasted vegetables, then discusses her reasons for participating in the blogathon.

Bargain Becky visits the North Scituate Farmers Market to find bargains–and a treat for her kids.

Maryanne of Mama Smiles takes her children to the Bedford Farmers Market, where they try new foods and get their hands stamped.

Pure Wellness Amy shifts gears to visit the Nicewicz Family Farm–and shows off the zucchini-ricotta cheesecake she recently took to a bridal shower.

Kathleen of Parlez-Moi Blog concocts a dark and delicious cherry-rhubarb-brambleberry sauce.

Amy at Madame Menu invites readers to share Baby’s First Farmers Market.

Jeremy at Basic Eating takes a bite out of a plant that is everywhere, the dandelion.

I belatedly acknowledge Katie Cohen‘s VIDEO entry, a short film called Sunday Morning at the Farmers Market. (Sorry, Katie!)

Nikki of Art and Lemons explores the glorious colors of tomatoes and makes a tantalizing soup from them.

Catherine of Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness ponders her latest farmshare and throws beets and chicken into a curry.

Kimberlea of Lighter and Local puts her haul of veggies and a little bacon into a tempting lasagna.

Megan of Delicious Dishings mixes bright colors and bright flavors in a watermelon, feta, and heirloom tomato salad.

Audrey at Food from Books strays into comfort food by baking penne with corn, zucchini, and basil.

Laurie of Recipes and More from Inspired Cooking features clams and more clams–because she’s from Essex.

Stephanie from atomsatwork celebrates the local food movement and visits the Pittsfield Farmers Market.