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Preparing Purple!

Hi, Everyone!

My name is Emily, and I am the Davidson Farmer’s Market summer intern. As an intern, I have the opportunity to accompany my boss on “vendor site visits.” Each of the Davidson Farmer’s Market vendors is within 100 miles of the town of Davidson. This not only makes travel to our vendor farms and business manageable, but also strengthens the Market’s relationship to each of its vendors.

To me, site visits are especially exciting and important because they highlight and reinforce the unique and personable bond the Davidson Farmer’s Market has with each of its vendors.

This past week, I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful Kasper Creek farm. There, Ranelle Kasper met us and toured us around her and her husband’s beautiful home, orchard, greenhouse, and farm. I especially enjoyed the Kasper Creek blackberries and newly installed cellar (where they store homemade preserved foods and seeds). After my visit to Kasper Creek Farm, I now know what it means to “hull beans” and the labor intensive process of growing them in the first place. Among the variety of lessons and facts that Ranelle taught me (ie. how to hull beans, how to tell ripened blackberries from the unripened, and how to properly dry and grow seeds) I was most surprised to learn about the unique purple produce (Velour purple French filet bean and Purple Beauty pepper) growing on Kasper Creek farm!

Here are three of my favorite purple produce products – and delicious recipes for each. Happy cooking!

  1. Velour purple French filet bean
Velour Bean

Velour purple French filet bean

  • Eat fresh
  • Freezes well
  • RECIPE: Simply, sauté with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • *When cooked, the purple color changes to green!

2. Purple Beauty Pepper

Purple Sweet Bell Pepper

Purple Beauty Pepper

Green Inside of Purple Beauty Pepper!

  • Colored a rich, deep purple
  • Sweet bell flavor
  • Peppers start green, shift to white, and then develop purple stripes that eventually cover the whole fruit.
  • Beautiful pop of color in any dish! Add to fresh veggie trays, sandwiches, salads, and other dishes.
  • RECIPE: Stuffed purple bell peppers:

      Ingredients

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove and discard the stems, then finely chop the tops; set aside. Scoop out the seeds and as much of the membrane as you can. Place the peppers cut-side up in a baking dish just large enough to hold them upright.

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking up the lumps, until the meat is cooked through and just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to get rid of the fat.

    Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions and chopped peppers and cook until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and a pinch or 2 of red pepper flakes. Cook until everything is heated through, then stir in the beef and rice. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese.

    Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and top each with a sprinkle of the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted and lightly browned, another 15 to 20 minutes.

    Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

3. Eggplant 

Image result for eggplant

Eggplant

Lebanese Stuffed Baked Eggplant Dish

One of my favorite Lebanese recipes: Stuffed Baked Eggplant!!!

Ingredients

  • 3 eggplants
  • 1 12-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • Dash of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Skin eggplant. Cut into quarters lengthwise. Sauté in butter. Place side by side in baking tray. Slit pieces in center and stuff each piece with 1 tablespoon of stuffing. Pour tomato puree (thinned with a little water) over the eggplant. Bake in moderately hot over (350 degrees) for 20 minutes. Serves 6. 

Posted by Emily