Miso-Glazed Eggplant

The following recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, which I cook from regularly. Mielle Chenier Cowan Rose’s Piece of My Heart is filled with simple whole food nutritional meals that a discerning pallet will appreciate, and a picky kid would gobble up.

Did you know eggplants are sexed?  Male eggplants have less seeds, are sweeter, and have a better texture than the females. To pick out a male eggplant at the store, Mielle recommends checking the seal on the booty.  A circle indicates a female, and a male will have more of an oval or a line.

She also shares her trick for reducing the natural bitterness in eggplants: toss raw slices with salt and let stand for twenty minutes, then blot dry before cooking.


Yields 4-6 servings

This is awesome with rice or noodles. It will win over even the die-hard eggplant aversion.

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees.

Combine in a small bowl:

  • 2 Tbl miso
  • 1-2 tsp honey or other syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbl rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbl water
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional

Set Sauce aside.

Combine in a baking dish:

  • 4 Japanese eggplants (but we recommend trying the new local eggplants from the garden!), cut into large diagonal chunks
  • Olive oil, to coat
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Roast for about 25 minutes, then stir in sauce (above) and return to oven for 5-8 minutes more.

Garnish with toasted walnuts and enjoy!


The Shishito Pepper

We are getting these gorgeous little emerald jewels in, which many might mistake for a padron pepper. They are similar but not the same, having a sweeter lighter flavor than their earthy counterparts.  Happy Boy Farms wrote up a little side by side on their differences here, if you are interested.

Shishito peppers taste best when they are grilled, broiled, or sauteed, just as long as they’re blistered. The sweet pepper (and perhaps one out of every 10 is surprisingly hot) mixed with the smoky gooeyness from being tossed around on the fire makes a great match. They’re great finger food, but I’ve also thrown them into a salad after cooling a bit.  Below is a basic recipe, that should take just 15 minutes to execute:


These directions comes from  Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes by Deborah Madison:

Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan until it is good and hot but not smoking. Add the peppers and cook them over medium, tossing and turning them frequently until they blister. They shouldn’t char except in places. Don’t rush. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook a panful of peppers. When they’re done, toss them with sea salt and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Slide the peppers into a bowl and serve them hot. You pick them up by the stem end and eat the whole thing, minus the stem, that is.

You can probably do fancier, cheffy things with them, but they’re terrific like this. For variety, I sometimes use a little toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil and finish them with togarashi. If you have leftovers, an unlikely event in my experience, chop off the stems and put the peppers in an omelet or some scrambled eggs.

Green Beans With Bacon Vinaigrette

We have beautiful French fillet beans coming from the farm! The key to cooking fresh green beans just right is to parboil them beforehand. This will soften them and prepare them for the saute. Bacon and green beans are a match made in heaven in this dish from Real Simple, but the mustard and vinegar give it complexity and kick! Do you think trimming green beans is a time waster? Check below the recipe on how to trim 2 pounds of green beans in a snap!



  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool; transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.
  3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet and return to medium heat. I like to pour all of my bacon drippings into a jar to save for adding a hint of bacon flavor to other dishes in the future. Don’t throw it out! Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, mustard, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add to the green beans, along with the bacon, and toss to combine.


How to trim off the ends of green beans in (even faster than a) snap:

Trimming green beansYou only need to cut off the stem end, where the bean attached to the vine. The other end if fine to eat.  Line up the stems. Sort the beans so that the stems all face one direction. Scoot a handful against your palm so that they’re even and then chop them all off in one go!

With this method you’ll be getting through a whole bowl in just a few minutes!

Olallieberry Pie

This recipe sounds absolutely divine!  Deb from East of Eden Cooking shared this mouth watering treat for Summer. Check out her full blog and other recipes here.

Julie Holler from Vallecito and her family have been growing olallieberries for many years — they are in now for just a short time!


  • 2  1/2 cups all purpose flour, more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water


  • 8 cups ollallieberries or blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • milk or half & half, and sprinkle of sugar for the top of the crust


  1. Prepare pie crust dough: I use my food processor. Whirl dry ingredients, flour and salt in food processor with blade attachment just until mixed. Cut cold butter and shortening into cubes, add to food processor. Pulse until shortening is the size of small coins; pennies, nickels and dimes. Do not over mix. Add the vinegar and just enough cold water through feed tube until the dough starts to come together. Do not over mix. Pour dough out on floured work surface. With as little handling as possible bring dough together into a ball. Cut ball in half and wrap halves in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour, prior to rolling out.
  2. Prepare berry filling: While the pie crust dough chills, gently rinse and clean the berries. In a large bowl gently combine berries, flour, sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Frozen berries can be used. Thaw and drain before combining with the filling ingredients.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.
  4. Prepare bottom pie crust: With a floured rolling pin, on a floured work surface roll out half of the pie crust dough. As needed, add small amount of flour to the surface when rolling out the dough. Roll dough, in a circle, until it is 1 1/2 inches larger than the 9 inch pie pan circumference. Place dough in bottom of pie pan, forming to contours of the pan. Do not stretch dough. With knife, trim the dough to the edge of the pie pan.
  5. Prepare top crust for pie: Sprinkle flour on work surface. With floured rolling pin, roll out the second half of dough. As needed, add a small amount of flour to the surface when rolling out the dough. Roll out dough, in a circle, until it is 1 inch larger than the 9 inch pie pan circumference.
  6. Finish pie preparation: Gently fill dough lined pie pan with berry filling. Only add accumulated berry juice to within 1/3-1/2 inch of top of pie pan, discard the rest. Place top crust over the berry filled pie pan. Trim any overhanging dough to 1 inch wider than the pie pan. Fold overhanging dough under the bottom crust, making a double layered edge. Crimp or flute the edge of the pie crust. Brush milk or half & half over the top crust and crimped edge. Lightly, sprinkle sugar on top of the crust. Cut 3-5 steam vents in the crust.
  7. Bake: To catch any berry juice that may overflow during baking place the pie on a large sheet pan that has a rim, and comfortably accommodates the pie. Immediately bake the pie at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375° and continue baking for 30-45 minutes until crust has browned and berry juices are bubbling. Check the pie during baking and cover the edge of the crust with foil if it is browning too quickly.
  8. To plate: Cool pie for a least one hour. If you can wait, the pie will be easier to serve and hold it’s shape if you let it cool 3 hours. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is a wonderful addition to a slice of Olallie pie.