un deux trois ~ FFwD! and eggplant tartine?

September 7, 2012 § 21 Comments

Okay, now you’ve done it! All of you French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD) cooks made me do it. (The end of a Colorado summer produce bounty was an added incentive.) I bought the book and now I’m boogie-ing trying to catch up since I’m 100 recipes behind the rest of you. Actually, I’ve known about this challenge group since the beginning of the year, as I bake with many of you (all of you?) in the Tuesdays with Dorie (TwD) group. There were a few reasons I had NOT to do this –

  1. I already own several French cookbooks that I haven’t cooked from
  2. I already participate in Dorie Greenspan’s baking challenge
  3. Could I really commit to a recipe per week, when sometimes it’s hard for me to bake every other week with TwD?
  4. Am I developing a Dorie cookbook compulsion?

Then I rationalized, we have to eat everyday, so it should be easy to do one recipe from Around my French Table per week. And I have other five nights to cook Italian, Mexican, Spanish, regional American, Indian, other Asian, Greek, etc. and still have a night to go out or get takeout. We would eat the leftovers all this cooking generated for lunch (we’re both at home, Phil’s retired and I haven’t returned to work yet), and hopefully not put on any extra weight.

So my personal FFwD goal is to cook the weekly recipe and two past recipes – un, deux, trois! Hopefully in a year, I’ll catch up with the rest of you.

This week is Dorie’s riff on a tartine, an open-faced sandwich, with eggplant slices standing in for the bread. My riff was a salad with lots of contrasts – still warm creamy-flesh-chewy-skin roasted Japanese eggplant topped with our favorite farmstead chèvre , juicy heirloom tomato “salsa” spiked with bites of celery and salty capers and olives, and crunchy cucumber slices drenched with olive oil and finished with large grained salt. A perfect end-of-summer salad as all of the produce came from a local farm or our garden.

This is a light and easy supper. While the eggplant roasts in the oven (mine was already hot from baking dessert, but you could also grill the eggplant if it’s too hot to cook in the house), cut and toss most of the other ingredients into a bowl for the tomato salsa which is brightened with some red wine vinegar.  Thinly slice the cucumbers and drizzle and toss with olive oil. When you’re ready to eat, assemble eggplant, chèvre, tomato and cucumber. Voilà, dinner is served.

This was such a light dish, we had to have dessert too! I took the very ripe peaches from the fruit bowl to top a thin cake batter, and used the forgotten streusel from my last peach cake to provide a crunchy edging. This cake was the complete opposite from the upside down chiffon cake – straight forward, easy, foolproof and all about the peaches! The perfect ending for a weeknight meal.

Here’s the roll call of the other FFwD dishes I made this week from local farm and garden produce and herbs. It sure is easy to eat well in the summertime!

Un – a simple last-of-the-season creamy corn soup (September 2011)

Deux – slow-roasted cherry tomatoes from the garden (August 2011)

Trois – classic leek and potato soup with cheese crouton (December 2010)

I have to say that both of the soups were striking in their bright clean flavors. The simple preparations, a light hand with fat and seasonings, and relatively short cooking times really allowed the freshness and taste of the vegetables to shine. Kudos to Dorie!

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§ 21 Responses to un deux trois ~ FFwD! and eggplant tartine?

  • Teresa says:

    Welcome aboard! You’ll certainly catch up with us if you keep up this pace. I like your riff on this week’s recipe and you chose some of my favorites for your catch ups. The corn soup is on my agenda this week, so I can freeze it and enjoy a little of that summer goodness this winter.

  • Liz says:

    Wow, you’re on a FFwD marathon! I love the way you styled your tartines…just beauitful. Welcome to the group 🙂

  • I am so impressed that you did three recipes plus this weeks pick!! Everything looks wonderful! Love the oven roasted tomatoes…one of my favorite recipes! Welcome to French Fridays!!

  • Wow – you have been busy. The roasted cherry tomatoes look delicious. This is one of my favorite recipes in the book. Great job on all your cooking. I hope you have a nice weekend:)

  • dulceshome says:

    Oh my goodness, you are ridiculously ambitious!! All of your dishes look terrific. So happy you’ve joined us!!! Love your take on the tartines.

  • Cher says:

    Welcome aboard! Great to see you over in this space as well 🙂
    Totally impressed how you jumped in with both feet. Your catchup posts are reminding me of some of the great recipes off FFwD past that I have really enjoyed (especially that leek soup and I have roasted tomatoes that way many, many times… Yum)

  • Mary Hirsch says:

    Oh, Marilyn, I KNEW you couldn’t sit by and watch all Dorie’s wonderful Friday dishes march by. I am thrilled that you are joining us. Your Posts are so informative and such learning experiences. (And, now we all know Why? Did you really think you were going to be able to keep your professional career in the closet? I’m a journalist. If I know it, I tell it.) I joined late so I also need to do some catch-up. Loved the corn soup, which I made. The roasted tomatoes are a constant. I wasn’t on-board for the Classic Leek/Potato Soup but have always used the recipe from the Cooking School of the Rockies when I took their french cooking sessions. So, I need to peddle also. Your tartine looks lovely. I liked that you put your aubergine slices to the side. And, I think from your picture, you did not peel it. I left strips of the peel and thought that was a mistake, that it made it “tough”. Your dish looked delicious, tasty. I am especially pleased your jumping into the Friday group because it must mean you are feeling good, having more energy. That makes me very happy. Welcome aboard the Dorista band wagon.

    • Piebird says:

      Mary, thank you so much for your encouragements and humor. yes, I’m still not 100%, but I definitely have enough energy to spend hours on my feet in the kitchen (which is actually fun for me). a looong time ago, I used to assist at the Cooking School of the Rockies. wouldn’t it be funny if you were in a class that I worked? was your teacher the owner Joan Brett? for the record, do try Dorie’s recipe. it’s my favorite version, and I’ve eaten a lot of potato leek soup (maybe the difference is that this was leek potato soup!) thank you, thank you, thank you. p.s. I have a chiffon cake recipe that I should probably post for the altitude impaired. the BwJ one even gave the flat landers over leavened results.

  • Marilyn, I do not know where my comment went…if you still find it, delete this one, please….I will try again: nice to see that you have joined the FFwD group! You made such a wonderful array of dishes, the soups look light and delicious, the oven baked tomatoes are my personal favorite and the aubergine tartine is so nicely presented! I should have kept the leftover Streusel I had from the Nectarine Chiffon Cake and baked a peach cake like you did! Wonderful post! Welcome again and I am sorry that my first comment disappeared!

    Have a great weekend!

    • Piebird says:

      looks like your original comment is lost in the internet ether. so thank you for re-posting. yes, those tomatoes are pretty amazing, and so simple! thank you for the warm welcome.

  • Ei says:

    I do so love Dorie’s soups. Her Creamy Cauliflower Soup Sans Cream (or something like that) is my fave. I could eat the whole pot. Your peach cake looks delicious! I like your gung-ho ambition in cooking all these recipes per week. Good luck!

  • Lola says:

    Welcome to French Friday Marilyn! The soups have been some of my favorite recipes. For me the Tuesday baking recipes haven’t inspired me the way Around My French Table has. I’ve been pretty hit or miss with it but even though I miss blogging FFwD I usually do the cooking. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

  • nana says:

    Someone has been very busy this week and it all looks great. I just made the tomatoes
    again, they go over really well in our house, especially with a little feta on the side.
    Welcome to FFWD, it is a fun group. Tricia and I have been in this about two years and really enjoy it.

  • betsy says:

    Welcome Marilyn! I love the chevre you added to the tartines, and good choices on your catch up recipes. I made the corn soup this week too. It’s like a bowl of summer. I’m struggling to cook one recipe a month for TWD though I keep up with this group. And there are so many other bloggers it’s overwhelming to try to see what they’ve all done. I hadn’t even come across your lovely blog yet, but I’m glad I have now. You’ll have fun with FFWD. Recipes are often simple and usually delicious, so not too bad to fit in. Glad to have you aboard.

  • Wow! This week’s recipe looks amazing! I can’t believe how much you’ve done! I caught up on the creme brulee this week and haven’t actually made any of the recipes you posted! I have a long way to go to catch up!!!

  • Welcome I joined this Spring and am not pressuring myself to catch up. Please don’t do that, just enjoy keeping up. This cookbook has really stretched mine and my families culinary experience I hope it does the same for you.

  • Kayte says:

    Hi, Marilyn. I must have baked with you in TWD but there were so many of us, it was hard to keep track. I joined when it was 4 months old. I joined FFwD right from the beginning as I knew I would love the recipes in the book. That said, I took a break and am just getting back to it, so like you, I am hoping to go back and make quite a few of the others that were made when I was taking a break. I think I have only made between 30-40 of the recipes…at any rate, it is fun to see you here and it will be fun to see what you make each week. Your photos are lovely…each dish looks excellently prepared and styled. I’d say you are off to a great start!

  • How great to find you here Marilyn! We could all use your very informative posts every friday, I agree with Mary. I joined about 50 recipes into the book, so I too have a lot of catch up cooking to do. You´re putting me to shame! jajaja
    I love that you´re back in the game. The chevre was the perfect addition to the eggplant tartine, it needed something else in my opinion. I should try some of the old recipes also, that corn soup looks goooood! I´ll see how it goes. This last month was kind of hard to keep up; I´m going through changes (all good) in my work and you know how much time a food blog takes up. Welcome!

  • jora says:

    Looks like we’re both playing catch-up! I started a year ago and my goal was to make 2 extra recipes until I caught up. Some weeks I haven’t managed, but I’m finally almost caught up…It’s fun re-visiting the past recipes.

  • […] to add to the hummus. To the base mixture I added a handful of parsley from the garden, and some slow-roasted cherry tomatoes I had saved in olive oil from the refrigerator. Since I don’t keep tahini on hand, I used the […]

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