A Visit to the Farmer's Market, Eggplant Three Ways, Buccatini a la Caprése

A visit to the local Farmer's Market this weekend brought unexpected surprises, including exceptionally perfect tomatoes and a honey-sweet yellow watermelon, also known as a Yellow Crimson.

I prepared the eggplant three ways -- grilled for sandwiches, breaded and baked for eggplant parmigiano, and sautéed as a topping with bucatelli pasta.  Grilling was easiest -- just brushed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled on a medium-hot grill for 3-4 minutes on each side.  We'll have it one day this week for a lunch panini, with sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella on ciabatta bread.
Next, I dipped 1/4" slices of eggplant in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs (all seasoned with salt and pepper, and the breadcrumbs with freshly chopped parsley), put them on an oiled sheet pan and roasted for 20 minutes @ 400 degrees. They came out crispy and virtually fat-free. I'll use them for tomorrow night's dinner of eggplant parmigiano, adding my own tomato sauce and slices of creamy mozzarella.
Finally, for tonight's dinner, I chopped the eggplant into 1" cubes, dusted with seasoned flour and sautéed with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter until crispy and browned. A friend had given us a wonderful caprése, which we used to top the buccatini, added fresh basil and parsley, and drizzled with a little more extra virgin olive oil. One of the best meatless dinners we've had, and literally 20 minutes from 'fridge to table.
Bottom line: If you can get to a local farmer's market, and have a few minutes to prepare what you purchase, you can create three or four innovative and delicious meals in short order, and eat healthful lunches and dinners for a few days. Especially nice in the hot summertime, when you don't want to cook from scratch every day.


  1. Those would be lovely, if I liked eggplant. :)


  2. What do you like? We can feature something that you would like to cook if you'll tell us what your favorites are!