Three local nightshades

Tonight’s dinner was Italian-style big flat pasta with mussels, and a tomato-onion-eggplant sauce.  The pasta was made with locally-milled white flour and home-ground local spelt flour, plus black pepper, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.  I definitely like egg pasta better, but we were out of eggs.  I boiled the pasta in the leftover water from the mussels.  The sauce was olive oil, cooking wine, tomatoes, basil, onions (white and green bits), eggplant, and one serrano chili pepper.  All the vegetables were from the CSA (harvested today!), and the mussels were sustainably farmed off the coast of Maine.  Ben made the sauce, and simmered it until the veggies started to fall apart and it became all delicious and sauce-like.  The mussels added the perfect sweet touch, and the black pepper worked well in pasta.

These were the first nightshades of the season.  High summer is definitely here!  There was even okra, though we had the choice of tomatoes, an extra eggplant, or okra, and we picked tomatoes.  There will be more okra later.  I picked lots of mint to put in water for sipping…it’s getting pretty broiling out there.  

The marjoram and oregano in the perennial garden was *covered in bees* — bumblebees, honey bees, and carpenter bees.  I assume at least some of the honeybees are from the new honey farm.  I petted the bumblebees and carpenter bees.  They are fuzzy and nonaggressive.  Then Ben suggested that I should probably stop traumatizing the poor bees.

And the dried zucchini is done!  (Not eggplant, zucchini.)  A couple slices might want a bit more time, but I’m going to cook with most of it pretty soon to test whether I like it, so I’m not as worried about getting them totally dry.  Next project: carrot pickles with the carrots that have been accumulating.  Unless I eat them tomorrow.

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Does drying the eggplant do something interesting to it other than preserving it, or is preservation the main goal?

  2. 2

    limesarah said,

    Ooops….I meant dried zucchini. Either way, preservation is the main goal here, though it will change the taste and texture from fresh in ways that might be more ideal for certain dishes. I think they might be interesting to use in casserole-like things where they can absorb juice as they rehydrate.

  3. 3

    Batshua said,

    I petted the bumblebees and carpenter bees. They are fuzzy and nonaggressive. Then Ben suggested that I should probably stop traumatizing the poor bees.

    I love you.

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