Friday, August 25, 2017

Roasted Eggplant and Beans with Marinated Feta

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, as well as fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company. 

Camas Swale Farm will have plenty of summer produce including melons and watermelons, cucumbers, garlic, salad greens, green beans, carrots, a variety of peppers, and tomatoes. 

For the last few weeks, Camas Swale has had pretty purple mottled dragon tongue beans. To preserve their vibrant colors, I served them raw in a composed salad of farmers market produce, along with a mustardy vinaigrette. 

Another week I paired them with a kindred spirit eggplant, roasted both and served with marinated feta cheese. The colors weren't quite as pretty, but the roasted vegetables were delicious coated with the creamy cheese for a summery alternative to a cheesy gratin.

Roasted Eggplant and Beans with Marinated Feta
roasted vegetables
2 handfuls dragon tongue or regular green beans, stems trimmed
1 large or 2 small eggplants, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place in two baking sheets. 

2. Toss the trimmed beans with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread them on one of the hot baking sheets. Roast for about 3 minutes, toss and roast for another 2 minutes until they are slightly charred but still retain some crunch.

3. Toss the cubed eggplant with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread them on the other hot baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until well charred on the outside and soft on the inside. 

4. Arrange on a platter and serve with marinated feta cheese (below).

marinated feta cheese
8 ounce block of feta cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes.
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
zest of 1 small lemon
about 1/4 cup of olive oil

Place the feta cheese cubes in a snug fitting bowl. Sprinkle with spices and lemon zest and drizzle over olive oil to submerge. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or longer in the refrigerator. Give the cheese a gentle stir and serve with the roasted vegetables.

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