Market Haul Pt 2

The colors of local produce continue to astound me, in their pretty piles just calling my name. It’s easy to over-purchase! If you do, make extra for a neighbor in need and walk to their door and say hello. 

This week we continue to utilize the abundance of our local farmers, including your own back yard. My pandemic planting has yielded crispy cucumbers and juicy tomatoes, featured below. Don’t pass over the Japanese eggplant at the market. I like it even better than regular eggplant since it’s not as bitter. In addition, the soft-boiled eggs came from my chickens, my other quarantine project. Rosie and Bella are both laying now, and Pepper will be soon. Chickens are weird and hilarious, and have made me laugh out loud multiple times.

SO, back to the food! You’ve probably noticed I love umami and spreads of various bites. Below you will find recipes for both. EVERYTHING can be grilled this summer, and this grilled eggplant will not disappoint and is ready in minutes. I love using my grill pan on the stove top, as I am currently cooking small batches and hate standing outside getting devoured by mosquitos. The cucumber salad and eggplant will last a couple of days in the fridge. I like to eat both at room temperature for best flavor. The snack spread is a clever template for one, or multiplied for your family. It’s fun swapping out elements to satisfy everyone’s cravings. Eat well!

Thai Cucumber Salad

Serves 4


For the salad:

2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out, then sliced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

half of a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint 

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

optional toppings: toasted sesame seeds, crushed red chili flakes

For the vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons coconut or canola oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed

12 tablespoons 100% maple syrup or favorite sweetener


To make the dressing, whisk the lime juice, oil, rice vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, and your desired amount of sweetener together in a small bowl until combined. (Or add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover and shake vigorously until combined)

Combine the cucumbers, green onions, red onion, cilantro, mint and peanuts in a large bowl.  Drizzle evenly with the dressing, then toss until combined. Reserve or make extra dressing to drizzle onto grilled eggplant or other main dish!

Serve immediately, garnished with your desired toppings. Or cover and refrigerate for up to one day, then serve the salad chilled.

Grilled Eggplant

Serves 4


4 Japanese eggplants (longer, thinner, and less bitter than regular eggplants)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Optional toppings: Thai vinaigrette and fried onions


Cut of stem of eggplants. Slice lengthwise into pieces of desired thickness. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Clean and oil a grill pan or outside grill. Once hot, place eggplant slices and don’t move for 2 minutes or until tender. Flip and don’t move for 2 more minutes or until tender. Plate, top and serve.


Summer snack spread

Serves 1


Half of a local cucumber, sliced with a sprinkle of salt

One whole local cucumber, sliced with drizzle of balsamic, turn of cracked black pepper, and basil leaves

One jammy egg, halved with sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning

2 creamy dreamy dips, homemade or store bought, such as pimiento cheese, charred onion

Simple crunchy carb such as crackers or toast points

One chopped nectarine or peach tossed with honey, dash of ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon and topped with mint


Arrange on a beautiful plate and consume slowly sipping on your favorite white wine or spritzer binge watching Netflix in the air conditioning.