Fairy Tale Eggplant
Yellow Peaches (Watsonia Organics)
Sweet Onions (Cured)
Sweet Habanero Peppers
New Red Potatoes
Thank you, CSA Members!
It’s the final week of our Spring season! Thank you for your support of our farm as well as our partner growers. During the upcoming Summer season, we’ll supplement your share with fresh fruits and veggies from their farms, like the juicy, sweet yellow peaches in this week’s box. We carefully vet each partner to ensure they share our values and high standards and are proud to call them part of our Frog Song family!
The arrival of summer brings an abundance of spicy peppers from our fields. This week’s CSA share includes two varieties: habaneros and jalapenos. While these aren’t the hottest peppers in the world, they do pack a punch. Both contain large amounts of capsaicin, the compound that gives hot peppers their heat (it’s also a phytonutrient and gives these little guys a slew of health benefits!). So how hot are they?
The heat level of a chile pepper is measured in Scoville heat units or SHU. Pepper heat ranges from zero to 1,400,000 Scoville units. Habaneros have 100,000 to 300,000 SHU which is around 10 to 30 times hotter than a jalapeño. With that in mind, we share these tips to handle them safely.
- Wear gloves. Not only can the burning sensation irritate your skin, but the peppers can also leave a residue on your fingers, and you might forget and rub an itchy eye.
- Realize that a little habanero goes a long way. Taste your dish as you go to make sure you don’t overdo it. The hottest parts of the pepper are the habanero seeds and the veins, so remove all of those to reduce the heat before adding to your recipe.
- Know the remedy for pepper burn. When you cook with hot peppers, chances are you’ll consume too much at some point. If that happens, drink milk, which has just enough acidity to quell the burning in your mouth. Other options include sugar, milk chocolate, and alcohol like tequila. For topical pepper burns that irritate your skin, apply either cold milk or lemon juice. A glass of cold water might be tempting, but avoid it at all costs—it will only spread the burning sensation.
- Remove the pepper’s skin first. The skin of a habanero is thin, but it can be tough to break down with your teeth. To remove the skin, roast the peppers over a gas or coal grill for ten minutes or roast them in the oven for the same amount of time. This will loosen the skin of the pepper and make it easier to peel off.
Simple Habanero Hot Sauce – peppergeek.com
- 5-10 medium Habaneros
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cane sugar (of FSO cane syrup)
- 1 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Wash peppers, remove stems, and chop
- In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil on low until it shimmers. Add the peppers and cover. Cook until the peppers are very soft, about 8 minutes. *
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes or until cool.
- Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add vinegar by the teaspoon and blend until right.
*Note: Cooking habaneros releases capsaicin (the hot stuff!) into the air. We recommend opening windows for ventilation and wearing a mask if necessary.
Jalapeño Infused Olive Oil
- 3 jalapeño peppers destemmed, seeded, and sliced in half
- 1 cup olive oil
- In a sauce pan, heat 1 cup of the olive oil over medium, then add in the jalapeño halves. Let them simmer in the oil over medium for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the remaining oil and reduce the heat to low. Continue stirring for 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and allow the oil to rest and cool for 1 hour.
- Strain the oil into a bottle or jar to remove the jalapeño pepper halves and seeds.
FSO tip: Keep the seeds in when cooking for a spicier olive oil.
- 4-6 small eggplants
- 1 medium clove of garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more if necessary
- ¼ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the eggplant and garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
- ¾ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of smoked paprika, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
- Halve the eggplants lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil. Place them in a parchment-lined baking dish with the halved sides down.
- Roast the eggplant until the interior is very tender throughout and the skin is collapsing, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set the eggplant aside to cool for a few minutes. Flip the eggplants over and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon, leaving the skin behind.
- Place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl, then transfer the flesh to the strainer and discard the skins. Pick out any stray bits of eggplant skin and discard. You want to remove as much moisture from the eggplant here as possible, so let the eggplant rest for a few minutes and shake/stir the eggplant to release some more moisture.
- Discard all of the eggplant drippings, drain and wipe out the bowl, and dump the eggplant into the bowl. Add the garlic and lemon juice and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down. Add the tahini to the bowl and stir until it’s incorporated. While stirring, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue stirring until the mixture is pale and creamy, and use your fork to break up any particularly long strings of eggplant.
- Stir in the parsley, salt and cumin. Season to taste with more salt (I usually add another ¼ teaspoon) and more lemon juice, if you’d like a more tart flavor.
- Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl and lightly drizzle olive oil on top. Lastly, sprinkle parsley and smoked paprika on top. Serve with veggies, pitas, or as a sandwich spread.