Today I had the pleasure of teaching a cooking class at the recently opened Hawthorne Community Market. A USDA grant is covering the cost of the class, so participants got to learn the following recipes, plus take home free veggies to try making the dishes at home. If you’d like to attend the next class, please sign up for our email list by emailing us at email@example.com. We encourage everyone to stop by the Hawthorne Community Market to see a wide variety of local items for sale, plus many classes which are offered throughout the week. It’s a great place to meet neighbors, learn something new, and find something tasty to eat. Currently they are open Thursday through Sunday. We’ll have okra and eggplant available through the summer at our farmers markets, so stop by soon!
Amy’s Eggplant & Basil
About 1 pound of Japanese Eggplant
Handful of fresh basil leaves, more is better!
Toasted Sesame Oil
Japanese Eggplant, sliced diagonally about 3/4 -1 inch thick slices. No need to peel or salt.
Cooking oil (coconut, olive, peanut, etc) – use enough to coat bottom of pan in an even, thin layer.
1 part balsamic vinegar (can use apple cider, rice vinegar, etc), about 1/4 cup or less
1 part hoisin sauce (can use other sweetener such as honey), about 1/4 cup or less
Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
Tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
Heat oil over medium-high. Saute eggplant until lightly brown and turning from spongy white to more translucent. Add sauce and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add fresh basil leaves, stir to combine and serve immediately.
Variations for oven cooking:
Add 1/3 cup oil and 1/3 cup water to sauce above. Mix well to combine.
Toss eggplant in sauce.
Arrange in a single layer in an oven-proof dish
Bake at 400 degrees until tender, approximately 25-30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.
Try Black Bean Garlic Paste instead of soy sauce
Add chile flakes or hot sauce to the recipe
Serve with rice, quinoa, or noodles.
Simple & Quick Okra
Wash and dry whole, young okra pods. Do not cut. Important to use young, tender okra for this method of preparation. You will be amazed at how tasty (and not slimy) okra can be when cooked whole.
Stir-Fry – Heat oil in wok or large sauté pan. Use a high temperature oil such as coconut, peanut, sunflower. Add okra. Stir occasionally. Season with a sprinkle of soy sauce or salt and pepper.
Grilled – Toss in oil to lightly coat, season with salt and pepper. cook on the grill until tender. Can place loose on grill, use a grill basket, or put on a skewer. Two skewers side by side through multiple okras is easier to turn than one single skewer.
Roasted – Toss in oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees, turning occasionally until tender and lightly browned