Last Sunday Headhouse Market was buzzing with high-summer produce. Culton has his humongo-watermelons on display yet again - this time I remembered to snap a picture. You can also see the sign for heirloom Lima Beans, which was one of many veggies that we picked up from his stall.
First the watermelon, now this? Look at the size of Culton's beans! What is he feeding his plants?
The variety was Dr. Martin's, apparently a famously delicious version of the lima bean or butterbean as Elizabeth knows it. Ususally gargantuan versions of fruit and produce just taste awful or bland, but these beans had all the sweet, satisfying flavor of a regular butterbean, along with a meatier texture & chew...like a fava bean.
Here's a pretty detailed post about these giants. My favorite line from the article?
They’re tremendously fun to shell, which can be a thought inducing and/or provoking exercise also, almost hypnotic and rosary-like if you're willing to let your mind go all the way...
In addition to Culton's always fresh offerings, we picked another 5 pounds of grapes from our grapevine; with some many sweet and ripe bunches coming off the vine, we're struggling to come up with good savory recipes that use seeded grapes.
Also from our garden, we've got a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes - this is what's left of at least 2 dozen fruit that our four plants have put out thus far. Elizabeth cooked them down into a sauce, which would be used for some Eggplant Parmesan. The oregano, parsley and basil that was used to season the sauce all came right from the garden as well.
The eggplant, also purchased from Tom Culton, were peeled, sliced into rounds, soaked in milk and then breaded and lightly fried in a shallow pan. It was pretty standard stuff from there - layered in a casserole dish with some homemade goat-cheese that we've been making with raw milk from Fair Food Farmstand, then smothered in tomato sauce from our Romas and dusted with Parm. Reggiano.
350 degree over for 30-40 minutes. Once the eggplant cooked through, Elizabeth topped each piece with some Di Bruno Bros. fresh mozzarella and then broiled them to gooey perfection.
Although this version of eggplant parm was really, really good, what made it taste that much better was knowing that, with the exception of the Parmesan, all of the ingredients came with a locavorian pedigree...it's pretty easy to pull something like this off in high Summer, as the ingredients speak for themselves.