Finding cool eggplants in an unexpected place

Fingerling eggplants from Emmanuel Kurtz at a farmstand in Johnstown.

It takes a lot to perk me up after a dentist appointment. Today, all I had to do was go around the block.

After a visit to the fabulous Dr. Dunlap in Johnstown — joined by Erika, who had the same appointment across the hall — we headed back only to find one of our new farmer friends at a new farmstand on Briggs Street, between North Comrie Avenue and Jansen Avenue.

We’ve made lots of friends in the last few weeks, as we loaded up for Sacandaga Bible Conference‘s annual Farm Table smorgasbord, which was two weeks ago and featured meat and produce from more than a dozen local sources. One of them was Emmanuel Kurtz, an Amish farmer in Palatine, who moved to the area about a year ago, joining other families. He grows beautiful golden grape tomatoes, beans and bell peppers. He also grows great eggplants, and he donated a bunch to us for that dinner.

Today, I was thrilled to find Emmanuel in Johnstown selling more of those golden tomatoes and eggplants in this new spot, along with fingerling eggplants, which I hadn’t seen up here. Also known as Japanese eggplant, these long, slightly curved beauties are ideal for sauteing, because they chop easily and uniformly. They are on the sweet side and have very small seeds, so they lack the bitterness found in larger eggplants.

We plan to saute them and finish them in a curry for dinner. The golden tomatoes we’ll pan-roast in olive oil with garlic and basil. They need nothing more than that.

We also spent $1.50 on a beautiful muskmelon (you know it incorrectly as cantaloupe). I’m not a big melon eater, but this one has a powerful scent and will no doubt be exceptional for dessert.


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