While your Instagram feed may be blowing up with everything pumpkin spice, it’s still summer in my kitchen. Last winter, I signed up for my first CSA share. CSA stands for ‘Community Supported Agriculture’, and essentially it’s an investment into a farm. In exchange, you have the fortune of (in my case) 22 weeks of outstanding organic vegetables. Each Wednesday night, I walk about about 15 minutes to the pick-up site. I choose and weigh my vegetables and load them into my granny cart (glamorous, I know). A sample share from July:
- fennel: 1 piece
- peppers: 3 pieces
- eggplant: 1 piece
- fava beans: 1 pound
- beets: 1 pound
- garlic scapes: 0.25 pound
- cucumbers: 2 pounds
- greens: 1 pound
- lettuce: 2 pieces
- squash: 3 pieces
As you can see, you have to be cool with eating tons of veggies throughout the week. I’ve made countless batches of ratatouille, hot and cold soups and all manner of salads. My grocery shopping these days usually consists of breakfast staples, proteins/meat and fruit. I opted out of the fruit share, but I now wish I did (one week they got 5 lbs. of sour cherries…jealous!) Aside from a packed fridge to work through, it’s actually simplified the cooking I do at home.
I’ve been receiving a steady stream of eggplant all summer. Long, skinny eggplant, baby ‘fairy tale’ eggplant, even white ones. To prevent eggplant burnout (it’s a thing), I try to vary how I use it week to week. One week, it’s pasta alla norma, a recipe my Aunt Lee introduced me to. Another week, it might be miso-glazed eggplant over rice. This falafel-stuffed eggplant has got to be one of my favorites. I made it late last summer and dreamed of making it again ever since. What’s cool is you actually get two recipes in one – save the inside of the eggplant for baba ganoush. This is your chance to use the last of the season’s tomatoes – get them before they’re gone! And if you’re not a member of a CSA, check out your local farmer’s market for most of the ingredients.
Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Green Tomato Relish
Recipe from Cooking Light
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 eggplants (about 12 ounces each)
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper (I used Piment D’Ville)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas ( or 1 15-ounce can)
- 1 cup chopped seeded tomato (I used a green tomato, use what you have)
- 1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Ground sumac, for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 475°.
To prepare eggplant, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise; score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with olive oil. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. Reserve pulp for another use (such as babaganoush). Season cut sides with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Combine about 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and next 11 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 1/2 cup chickpea mixture into each eggplant shell. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned.
To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Set aside.
To prepare relish, combine the tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine.
Top eggplant with relish and sauce. Sprinkle with sumac before serving.