Below are a few recipe ideas that are inspired by some produce coming out of our fields.
Eggplant With Buttermilk Sauce
- 2large and long eggplants
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
- Maldon sea salt and black pepper
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 teaspoonza’atar
For the sauce:
- 9 tablespoonsbuttermilk
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
- 1small garlic clove, crushed
- Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk (the stalk is for the look; don’t eat it). Use a small sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin. Repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.
Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with olive oil – keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft, flavorful and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
While the eggplants are in the oven, cut the pomegranate into two horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl, with the cut side against your palm, and use the back of a wooden spoon or a rolling pin to gently knock on the pomegranate skin. Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into the bowl. Once all are there, sift through the seeds to remove any bits of white skin or membrane.
To make the sauce: Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.
To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Fancy and Beautiful Tomato Salad
1½ lb. heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium)
12 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes
- Using a paring knife, core 1½ lb. heirloom tomatoes, then cut each into 8–12 wedges, depending on their size, using a very sharp chef knife or serrated knife (if your chef knife is dull, it’s going to squish your precious tomatoes). Halve or quarter 12 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes (cutting them through their equators will reveal more seeds and make them even prettier).
- Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl; season with 1¼ tsp. salt. That salt is going to draw out moisture from the tomatoes, which will intensify their flavor. Stir to gently combine (be careful with those delicate tomatoes!); set aside.
- Zest ¼ lemon—you want about ½ tsp. zest (it’s easiest to measure if you hold the Microplane upside down so that the zest collects on top and you can scoop it into the measuring spoon). Grate ½ garlic clove. Set aside.
- Heat 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium until just starting to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. za’atar and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and darker in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved lemon zest and garlic. Wait 10 seconds, then remove from heat. (You’re looking to cook off the raw flavor of the garlic without losing the brightness of the lemon.) Transfer za’atar oil to a heatproof measuring cup.
- Place 2 cups pita chips in a medium bowl. (Yes, you could make pita chips yourself—but why turn on the oven in July? We’re opting to spiff up store-bought chips instead.) Pour 2 Tbsp. za’atar oil over; season with salt. Mix well with a rubber spatula, aiming to coat chips without breaking them into too many pieces.
- You should have about ¼ cup za’atar oil remaining. Squeeze 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon) into a small bowl. Add 1½ tsp. honey and ½ tsp. salt. Add za’atar oil, stirring constantly, until emulsified (meaning that you don’t see any beads of separated oil). Taste dressing and add more lemon, honey, or salt if needed.
- Slice 3½ oz. feta into thin planks (we like Greek feta because it’s easy to crumble, with a pleasant tang), then add to bowl with reserved tomatoes. Tear any large ½ cup basil leaves and ½ cup mint leaves (if you have shears, you can cut them to avoid bruising and browning!) and add to bowl. Drizzle about 3 Tbsp. dressing over and toss to gently combine (your tomatoes are precious, delicate gems).
- Add pita chips to bowl (don’t leave leftover oil behind—scrape that in too) and fold gently to combine. Spoon salad onto platter, making sure to leave no juices behind. Drizzle with remaining za’atar oil.
- Eat fast for crunchy chips or let sit for a crispy-gone-soggy experience.
From Bon Appetit
Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Shishito peppers
Here’s what you do. Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan until it is good and hot but not smoking. Add the peppers and cook them over medium, tossing and turning them frequently until they blister. They shouldn’t char except in places. Don’t rush. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook a panful of peppers. When they’re done, toss them with sea salt and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Slide the peppers into a bowl and serve them hot. You pick them up by the stem end and eat the whole thing, minus the stem, that is.
You can probably do fancier, cheffy things with them, but they’re terrific like this. For variety, I sometimes use a little toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil and finish them with togarashi. If you have leftovers, an unlikely event in my experience, chop off the stems and put the peppers in an omelet or some scrambled eggs.