Six weeks into the harvest season of my CSA, where I get my fresh vegetables weekly, and I'm overwhelmed by the variety! Now that it's midsummer, there are so many types of vegetables being grown. This week brought me carrots, turnips, artichokes, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, peppers, and string beans.
Sandy Gluck from "Everyday Food" gave me a few great tips for different ways to prepare my veggies. When I mentioned that I needed a new twist on salad, she suggested grilling the lettuce. Skeptical, I quartered the romaine, drizzled on some olive oil, added a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and grilled it for a minute on each side. Wow! Still a little crunchy, but with that charred grilled flavor, this was exactly what I needed to shake things up. I tossed in a few of the other veggies, and made a buttermilk dressing with the herbs for a perfect summer side dish.
Sandy also gave me a great idea to lighten up the eggplant, since eggplant recipes often use a ton of oil. I had never tried steaming eggplant before, but I figured it was worth a try. I steamed it without peeling or salting. Then I sauteed garlic and ginger, added water, lemon juice, soy sauce, and honey, and cooked it until it thickened. I added the eggplant and fresh onions until they were glazed, and finished the dish with sesame oil. I served it over quinoa, and even my eggplant-hating husband asked for more!