Eggplant Persillade with Aged Goat Cheese with Fenugreek
Our nights are cooler now, and the quilts are out again. But our days are warm and sun-drenched and we've been lucky enough to have sporadic rainfall this summer. It really has been a lovely summer up here on what many people are now calling the North Coast, that is, the raggedy line of shore that marks the southern side of Lake Superior and the northern side of Lake Michigan. July was hot, but August has been heavenly.
I bought Asian eggplant at the market this week, and looked for a simple recipe that would bring out its gentle flavor, which is as comforting to me as Grandma Annie's mashed potatoes.
I also wanted to showcase something from my herb garden. I found this Julia Child recipe for eggplant persillade, and a modified version of it now joins the blogosphere cavalcade of JC recipes marking her 100th birthday. (That's not entirely correct; it was already in the blogosphere.)
Persillade is a parsley-based sauce or mixture made with oil and seasonings. Here's how to pronounce it.
Most versions of the recipe suggest serving it over spaghetti squash but when served as a side dish, it's more in keeping with my culinary goal this week of eating vegetables in rather simple form.
I did not peel my organically-grown eggplant and I sliced rather than diced it. So I'm not sure, if strictly speaking, it's Julia's recipe. (I'm really struggling with the whole purist thing.)
Sprinkling it with Parmesan cheese is optional. I had none (must get to the store!) so I tried it with LaClare Farm's Evalon, an aged goat cheese made here in Wisconsin. We sampled
Eggplant from the farm market, parsley from my garden, cheese from my state. What better way to salute Julia!
I have one eggplant growing in my garden. If it survives the hungry critters who roam my yard at all hours of the day, looking for more ways to annoy me, I'll feature a dish with that later in the season.