Eighth of an Acre Bounty

Random thoughts and anecdotes on cooking, critters, gardening and life on our small city lot.

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Ugly Food – Dark Days 4

December 14th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Whole Wheat Smoked Eggplant Ravioli with Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes

Apologies in advance for the horrible, overexposed picture. We haven’t quite worked out sufficient lighting in the kitchen yet. But truth be told, this meal just ain’t that pretty even in the best of light. But what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in flavor.

Earlier in the year we borrowed a friends smoker while he was away fishing. I picked up several eggplants from the local farmers market and smoked them for a few hours. I pureed the eggplant, used half to make a big batch of baba ganouj (promptly frozen),  and used the other half to make up some ravioli. At that time we were rolling in the eggs from the girls and I was trying to preserve as much as possible in the form of pasta or ice cream. I made some ricotta with milk from a local dairy and combined the pureed eggplant with the ricotta, seasoned with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and sauteed leeks.

The ravioli was made with eggs from the girls and flour from Wheat Montana. Montana wheat isn’t exactly local, but we picked up two 50 lb sacks while we were out in Montana earlier this year – so I am going to count it, as it was local when we bought it and no excess miles were traveled to get it from there to here. Besides, it is a really cool thing to see a family of wheat farmers still farming after 3 generations, and they’ve established retail outlets attached to their mills, not only selling raw wheat and flour but any number of breads and treats from their product.

I made a simple sauce for the ravioli from a quart of canned tomato sauce, a bit of smoked paprika, oregano dried from the garden this summer and garlic from the West Seattle Farmers market. I sliced a few jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes) very thin and sauteed in olive oil until crisp.  A whole wheat buttermilk roll to sop up the sauce and push things around rounded it out.

From our home/garden: Eggs, leek,  tomatoes, oregano.

From local farms: Eggplant, milk,  wheat, jerusalem artichokes, garlic. Sources: Greenfresh Market, West Seattle Farmers Market, Renton Farmers Market.

Not Local: Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, olive oil.

Tags: Dark Days Challenge 08-09

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 (not so) Urban Hennery » Blog Archive » Dark Days 08/09 Recap - Week #4 // Dec 14, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    […] West: It might not be pretty, but it makes up for it with flavor. Maya pulled some smoked eggplant ravioli from the freezer (great idea Maya!) and served it with a ximple tomato sauce. On top were crispy […]

  • 2 Kate // Dec 17, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    What a great idea for preserving food. I never thought of making pasta and freezing it. It too bad I am off wheat these days.
    I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I’ve been following it for sometime and recently started my own. I’ve put your blog on my blog roll, I hope you don’t mind. Thanks for all the wonderful posts.

  • 3 maya // Dec 18, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Kate, Thanks! I need to work on more ways to preserve the eggs to use in the winter. We don’t artificially light the coop so they stop laying when the days shorten. I’ve been a bit chicken (heh) about trying to air-dry egg pasta so that is shelf stable, that will be an experiment for next spring I think.

    Thanks also for letting me know you’ve been reading for a while, I am glad you like it and pleased to meet ya!

  • 4 Mangochild // Dec 28, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I’d say it definitely counts as local, since it was “local when you bought it.” Especially seeing that it comes from a family farm – 3 generations is impressive. How do your chickens do in the winter? Does the laying fall off as the weather cools, or do they keep laying through the winter?

  • 5 maya // Dec 28, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Mangochild, We don’t artificially light the chickens during the winter so their egg laying drops off. We haven’t gotten an egg in almost two months. It will pick back up again when the days get longer. I figure the chickens are just like us girls, born with a set number of eggs. We will get the eggs eventually – no need to tax their bodies into producing all the time without a break!

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