Now that the CSA season is upon us and local farmers’ markets are popping up, we are delighted to have LES resident and chef Carlin Greenstein contributing a weekly seasonal recipe. Her recipe for Turkish eggplant is below; for more ideas, read the Local Cooking at Home archives here.
When I need a little something to supplement my CSA share I head West to the Bodhitree Farm at the adorable Abington Square Greenmarket on Saturday mornings. The charming farmer, Nevia No, grows and sells some of the most spectacular Asian varieties of local greens and baby vegetables I have ever seen.
This past weekend she had baby Turkish eggplant that I had to have. They are a gorgeous deep orange color with green vertical stripes and a perfect top stem. I almost wanted to tumble them onto a platter and keep them just for show on my farmhouse kitchen table, but that would have been a waste of something delicious.
I followed her verbal recommendation for preparation and decided to make little pizzas with variations of spicy roasted red pepper tapenade, sautéed dandelion greens and crumbled sheep’s milk feta cheese. Truth be told, they would have been equally delicious plain, as a snack, too.
Here is the method for cooking the eggplants. (Note: this will work with regular eggplant, as well.)
Sautéed Turkish Eggplant with Sea Salt
12 baby orange Turkish eggplants, sliced thinly
sea salt crystals and freshly ground pepper
Heat a large sauté pan over a medium flame. Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Place the eggplants in a single layer in the pan and allow them to cook and crisp for a couple minutes. Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and pan fry the remaining pieces. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Eat as is or top crostini or pizzas.
Carlin Greenstein has been creating healthy, seasonally inspired menus as a private chef for 14 years. After receiving her masters degree from New York University in Food Studies and Nutrition, Greenstein completed her certification in Holistic Health and Wellness. She runs a small business, “Chew on This,” promoting local and seasonal eating.