I am totally in love with my CSA box. Every week, like magic, a whole new cornucopia appears just around the corner, with my name on it. It’s wonderful what beautiful and delicious things the earth can make, when people know how to do it.
In the beginning, this were a little dicey. Dark, leafy greens are just not in my wheelhouse of cooking. I had a couple of successes. (This, in particular, was tasty), but mostly things just tasted resoundingly fine. Nothing special, nothing any better than I could do with the produce section of the grocery store.
Oh, there were lots of cucumbers, and I made this salad. And then I dreamt about it. Highly recommend.
As the summer has progressed, the box has gotten better and better. The kale and chard are gone, and they’ve been replaced by zucchini, beets, tomatoes and potatoes. Now these, I can work with. I made a potato and zucchini torte that was the bomb. It’s from Smitten Kitchen, so that wasn’t really in doubt. I made delicious roasted beets with balsamic vinegar. My husband even threw together some zucchini pancakes. YUM.
And today, I made some sautéed eggplant pasta. It’s a great way to both use an eggplant you might not be totally confident on what to do with, and put to use a tomato on its last legs. I used two cups of penne I had left over from something else, but you can scale it as needed.
Go forth, and love your CSA box.
Simple Eggplant Pasta
2 cups cooked pasta
1 TBS olive oil
1 small eggplant, diced
2 plum tomatoes (can be in disparate stages of ripeness), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh herbs of your choice. (I used oregano. Basil and parsley would also be great!)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Grated parmesan or mozzarella, for topping
Kosher salt to taste
Start by putting the diced eggplant in a colander in the sink and sprinkling a few good pinches of kosher salt over it. (I misread some instructions and coated it with a lot of salt, then rinsed the salt off and patted it dry. This made the whole thing too salty. Don’t do this.) Let sit for about an hour, while the eggplant drains. Alternatively, you can skip this, but the eggplant may be slightly bitter.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add eggplant and saute for about 10 minutes, until it starting to get a little golden color. If your tomatoes are at varying stages of ripeness, add the ripest tomato, along with the oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes. If your tomatoes are at similar stages of ripeness, just pick one. Saute around for about 4 minutes, until the eggplant starts to fall apart. Add the pasta and the other tomato, and saute for just about 2-3 minutes, until the sauce adheres to the pasta. Add salt to taste.
Serve topped with grated mozzarella or parmesan. Rejoice in seasonal produce.