• Warm the soup.
• Serve the rice salad at room temp or heat it in a sauté pan with a little oil and a splash of water.
• For the fritters heat some oil in a non-stick pan. Be generous with the oil – use enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. These are summertime latkes. Now, allow the oil to heat to shimmering and almost smoking. While this is happening add a little salt to the fritter batter as we omitted the salt to prevent too much wateriness. Stir in the salt and spoon the batter into the hot oil in about 2 Tablespoon per fritter increments. You should get 4 -6 in you pan at a go. Flatten the fritters and allow them to brown (2-3 minutes) before flipping them carefully to brown the other side. Add some oil if necessary. You really want them fried and not toasted.Transfer to some paper towel, drain, and serve.
Meal 2: Asian Eggplant, Baby Bok Choi and Thai Basil in Coconut Milk Curry, Fresh Salad w/ Mint, Cucumber, & Red Onion, and Dry-Spicy Green Beans
• Warm the curry gently on the stove top until just warm. You don’t want to over-cook the choi and herbs. Look out for the leathery Kafir Lime leaves and remove them as you eat the dish.
• Toss the salad with its veggies and dress lightly with a neutral oil ( canola is good) and a faint splash of a sweet vinegar like rice wine, white whine, or even cider vinegar. Season lightly with a pinch of salt too.
• Heat a sauté pan very hot. Now add just the green beans and drizzle oil over them. Stir. They will spit a sputter and hopefully smoke a bit. You want to blister them. Now reduce the heat and add the sauce with maybe a little water. Toss and turn to dress and serve immediately.
Thai Basil. It will be those lovely spinach like, anise flavored bites in the curry. I think my favorite aspect of this herb is that it is used like a vegetable – the whole tip and flower bud just thrown into the dish by the handful to be enjoyed in an unabashed manner along with cilantro, kafir lime leaves, mint, and lemongrass. Its those fresh, bright, and often herbaceous notes that, along with rich, sweet coconut milk make Thai cooking so appealing. The basil and lemongrass came from The Tree Farm. So did the mint for the salad along with Vermont Valley’s cucumbers and lettuce, and some thinly sliced Tropeo red onion from Blue Moon Community Farm. The green bean dish is an attempt at the Dry-Spicy Beans classic with its salty sweet pork sauce over blistered green beans. It’s a new one for us so I hope it turns out well at home. We used TVP for the vegetarian portions and a TVP/Black Earth Meats all natural Berkshire pork for the omnivore shares. We also got some lovely Italian heirloom zucchini from Harmony Valley and used them for the ‘Summertime Latkes’ with a latin aspect to accompany some Black Bean Soup and a nice rice salad. You might not notice it, but we are finally back into local onions after having to buy California organic for some months now. We got #40 from Marlene Platt at the farmers market, as well as new garlic from another vendor and used them with vigor this week. There are maybe 10# remaining. I’d better get a call in to order more for this weekend! Enjoy.