If you hurry, you might get one last eggplant at the farmers' markets. If you're really lucky, you might even get a looker like this:
If you do, I've got a recipe for you. It's an Asian inspired eggplant and beef stir-fry from this month's issue of Bon Appetit, and it is GOOD. I've taken to making dinner in the mornings, while Sally sleeps—she seems happiest riding around on my chest while I'm doing the laundry or taking a walk or cooking—so we've been looking for recipes that we can do ahead. Dinner time apparently is prime time for fussing and nursing, and so we mince our garlic and mint and whisk together our soy sauce and nuoc nam in the a.m.
Beyond the eggplant, all you need is some local pastured steak, a few handfuls of mint from the garden, and some Asian basics that you probably already have tucked away in the cupboard. Oh! and an appetite. Good luck with the eggplant.
EGGPLANT AND BEEF STIR-FRY
Alex sells pastured Northeast Family Farms beef at his market in Truro. A wide variety of cuts will work—anything from top sirloin to skirt steak to to flank steak to beef eye round.
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce (we use nuoc nam)
juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound eggplant, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 pound steak
Whisk together the mint, soy sauce, ginger, nuoc nam, lime juice, garlic, and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.
Warm the oil up in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the eggplant until golden brown. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the dressing, keeping the pan warm. Now sear the steak in the same pan and add this to the eggplant mixture. Toss well.
Finally, cook the rice noodles and drain. Let each person serve themselves a bowl of noodles topped with the eggplant and steak mixture and some of the sauce.