It’s my first posting as part of French Fridays with Dorie Greenspan using recipes from her book Around My French Table. My friend Jill has been cooking and baking along with many others around the world for Tuesdays with Dorie and French Fridays with Dorie for
quite some time. In short, it’s a group of folks who bake/cook together from all over the world, then blog about it. I’m a bit late to the party (ha! what’s new?!), but very excited to join in the fun. And be sure to check out Jill’s blog at Bake with Jill. She is awesome – Jill can make her own puff pastry!
France has been on my mind quite a bit recently since I read My Life in France and saw La Vie en Rose. I know, a bit of a cliché. However, close friends know that my love of French food goes back to my childhood watching Julia Child on PBS. Yes. That’s right. I loved to watch Sesame Street and Julia. Any wonder that I love both frogs and cooking?*
This week’s recipe is Eggplant Caviar. The lemon zest really made this recipe for me; the zest plus the fresh herbs in the spread sets it apart from other eggplant dips. And, I got to use my jar of piment d’Espelette, a sweet and spicy dried ground chili pepper from the Basque region (Mine says it’s from Ustaritz). And just so you know, I ate the whole bowl for dinner with some slices of salami and a few almonds; all that was missing was some wine and good friends. Here are my notes:
- I halved the recipe: I love eggplant but my dear “œuf sur le plat” does
- The eggplant was baked in a toaster oven to save heating the whole kitchen.
- Since I was not spreading this on bread, to make it easier to dip but still slightly chunky, I briefly pulsed the roasted eggplant in the small chopper bowl of my food processor.
- It was served with red bell pepper chunks and a few lentil chips for dipping.
- Despite cutting back on the amount of onion for a half batch and rinsing the raw onions in water, for me, the onion flavor was too sharp and overwhelmed the lovely eggplant flavor. Next time (and there will be a next time) I’d would cut back even further, try out some sweet Vidalia or red onion and rinse the chopped onion with boiling water to reduce the sharpness.
Most Fridays I’ll be posting my FFwD results. But likely not every week; I don’t eat many baked goods anymore, and try to avoid most grains, so I’m going to be somewhat selective about my posts. You can still get your French fix every week! There are lots of folks participating and you can follow everyone here. The French Fridays with Dorie group is not publishing recipes. We all have a copy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan and you should too!
*While I love frogs and cooking, I don’t love cooked frogs including their legs. To me, it’s like saying “cook up that kitten over there.” This is where the French and I part company.