Farmers Market Wednesday

It had been about a week since I bought fresh produce, so I was very ready for a trip to the market on Wednesday.  I bought sweet potatoes, a vidalia onion, Japanese eggplant, peaches, green beans and pak choi.

And as is becoming standard, I found a little buggy on the pak choi.  I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but when I took him outside I found he was an itsy bitsy caterpillar.

I went to the market with no meal plans, and as I was walking around I was thinking stir-fry.  I’d never tried the skinny Japanese eggplant, although I knew they were basically the same as the big ones.  The stir-fry ingredients weren’t coming together for me, so I went a different direction and came up with:  Agave Garlic Eggplant, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Steamed Pak Choi.

With the eggplant I was going for a take on honey chicken, like you’d get at a strip mall Chinese joint.  Sweet, garlicky, and a little bit spicy.  I don’t have great knowledge of Asian cooking, and my attempts generally fall a bit flat in the flavor department, but I have to say that this turned out exactly how I had imagined.  No exact recipe, but I’ll give you a run down.  I think this would be really good with tofu or seitan too.

Agave Garlic Eggplant

4 Japanese eggplant, cut in half lengthwise then cut into quarter inch slices
medium sweet onion, halved then sliced.  regular onion would also work.
2-3 Tbs peanut oil
splash sesame oil
soy sauce
8 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
a couple Tbs agave nectar
about 1/3 c water
1-2 tsp hoisin sauce
splash rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs cornstarch

1.  Mix the last five ingredients (agave nectar through cornstarch) together in a small bowl; set aside.
2.  Heat the oils in a wok over medium-high heat.  Add the eggplant and onion and cook, stirring and adding splashes of soy sauce as needed, until eggplant are cooked to your liking.  I let mine go quite a while to be sure the eggplant was cooked enough.
3.  Clear a spot in the center of the wok;  put in the garlic and let it cook for 5-10 seconds, then stir in.  Do the same with the red pepper flakes.
4.  Whisk the sauce again then add to the wok.  Stir and cook until the sauce thickens, a few minutes.

Serves 3-4.

I leave you for today with a picture of the pak choi stems, which made nice little shapes when I cut them off.

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16 Comments »

  1. Jennifer said

    What a nice farmer’s market trip, you get some good booty at your market. I hope the market where you are moving is as good as this one!

    And what a creative dinner, yes, sometimes our original ideas fall apart, but you managed to put together quite the meal. And the mashed sweet potatoes! Oh, those sweet potatoes.

    Isn’t it funny about the bugs on farmer’s market produce. I don’t think I could bring a load home without finding some critters.

  2. VeggieGirl said

    Mmm, those mashed sweet potatoes look so scrumptious!

  3. Good finds at your market! The pak choi flowers are too cute, I would have thought you made those!

  4. Lauren said

    Yum! Your food looks great! I’ll have to try it out sometime..

    And the stems look like pretty little flowers, so cute! :)

  5. Billy said

    Hi Katy,

    I replied to your comment on my blog post about leaving Seattle. BTW, Gainesville is a pretty cool town.

  6. Billy said

    I’m sorry Erin. I was about to comment on Katy’s blog as well.

  7. melanie said

    great loot! i love the little pak choi-flowers!

  8. Eric said

    I am no stranger to the Tazo Berry Blossom White Tea! Its delicious!

    East Bay…..not a bad place to live! Not cheap, but its a great place. I used to travel there fairly frequently for my last job and I always enjoyed going there. I’m in southern California, so I’m not too far away. It really is a lively place to live……best of luck to you!

  9. jessy said

    oh wow – what awesome farmer’s market loot! yay! and agave garlic eggplant sounds (and looks) super stellar! those mashes sweet potatoes do, too! mmmmmmmmm! thanks for the recipe! i will for sure be giving it a try!

    oh, and the pak choi stems are so cute! i love how pretty they are!

  10. Love those mashed sweet potatoes! They add such a shot of color to any meal.

  11. What beautiful veggies!

  12. I love food flowers and baby caterpillars! And that Asian dish sounds fan-freakin’-tastic!

  13. I <3 farmers market meals!

  14. Samantha said

    Ooh, I used to LOVE honey chicken!! I’m so trying your recipe soon!

  15. atxvegn said

    I’m going to a different farmers market this Wednesday and I can’t wait. It’s hard to go with a meal in mind because you never know what awaits you. I love the little flower stems. Produce is so amazing!

  16. LK said

    I love produce at the farmers market! The agave garlic eggplant sounds really good, especially with local eggplant!

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