Winter vegetables

Now that the gardening season is coming to an end, gardens are looking a little spent. Nonetheless, I can still find enough beets,leeks, Swiss chard, carrots, kohlrabi and not to mention lush parsley in the garden. I planted giant radishes at the end of August, Radiant Giant and Red Cloak daikon radishes, they are the size of softballs now.These add tremendous flavors to our winter table.

Today I harvested some Radiant Giant Radish, Red Cloak Radish and Kohlrabi. The vegetables is juicy and sweet. I made an orange dressing to go with the salad. It was delicious! The radishes were planted in late August, after clearing out the bush beans I planted in the spring. Now they are about 5" across. I would try to plant them earlier next season, so they will be larger by now. The kohlrabi were planted in the spring. I will make an orange dressing to go with the salad. If you haven't planted a fall garden before, I hope this is enough of a reason for you to start doing so...

Caponata-Put Your Extra Eggplants to Good Use

This October I visited Seattle. Naturally, I headed to Pike Place Market. At the corner of the entrance is DeLaurenti's Specialty Food and Wine. I bought a couple of sandwiches some goodies headed out to the beach to have lunch with my husband. I bought some caponata from the deli, and it was delicious. Just so happen I over-planted my eggplant this year, so I have a ton at home. I have the round Opus Eggplants and long Asian Black Dragon Eggplants. As soon as I got back from Seattle, I made my own version of caponata with ingredients on hand. Here's the basic ingredients: Ingredients: diced eggplants, onions, celery, roasted red peppers, capers, raisins, green olives, pine nuts, garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and home made tomato sauce. Place diced eggplant in a large sauce pan, add salt and weighing down with a heavy plate. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid from the eggplant. Saute vegetables in olive oil until they turn soft. Add all other ingredients except fresh basil leaves. Cook until all blended. Add chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve with a loaf of nice crusty bread. Caponata will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. It tastes good cold. You can free the extras in and used it for the winter.

October 2010 update:
5 lb. Opus Eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes, add 2T salt, and allow to set for 4 hr., squeeze out as much liquid as you can (this will allow the eggplants soak up flavors later).
5 large ribs of celery stalks, cut into 1/2" cubes,
2 C. carrots, cut into 1/2" cubes,
1 large onion, cut into 1/2" cubes,
Side ingredients:
3 C. Green olives, cut up (I used the Italian Antipasto from the big box store),
1 bottle of 3.5oz. capers
1-1/2 C. raisins,
1 C. pine nuts,
Herbs and seasonings:
Basil: 2 C. fresh,
Garlic: 2 heads fresh, peeled and crushed,
Oregano: 1/2 C. fresh chopped,
Hot pepper flakes, to your taste,
Olive oil,
1/2 C. Red Wine or Balsamic vinegar, (or a combination of the two)
1 C. Brown sugar,
1 C. Homemade Tomato sauce,
Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute vegetables in batches until they are soft, making sure they are all well coated with. Add other ingredients gradually, mix well, allow to cook together.

Something else eggplant

My eggplant dish turned out to be a pleasant surprise! Here's how: Slice eggplants into 1/4" thin slices, dip the eggplant slices in egg and then herb flavored bread crumbs, then pan-fry the eggplant slices, pan-fry new potato slices, layer potato and eggplant slices in a baking dish, pour home caned tomato sauce on top, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cover with mozzarella cheese. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes, voila!