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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dans la Cuisine avec Chef Lars: Food photography

So I'm in the kitchen a lot lately whipping up a few things and tonight had an eggplant and some tomatoes, those small "high lycopene" tomatoes you see in Trader Joe's. What to make? How about what I'm calling "planques d'aubergine au balcon a la grec," which loosely translated from the French is "stacked planks of eggplant with tomato, feta and herbs. The recipe follows. It was a hit. Photograph © J. Larry Golfer Photography.

1 large eggplant

5 or 6 small tomatoes, sliced
crumbled feta cheese

juice of half lemon

1/4 teaspoon each of basil, rosemary and oregano
2 garlic cloves

extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Oiled glass baking dish or baking pan

Preheat oven to 400F.

For the drizzle:
Combine the lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the herbs in a bowl.  Crush the 2 garlic cloves with a garlic press into the mixture. Stir vigorously to blend ingredients and set aside.

Cut eggplant crosswise into ½” thick planks. Slice the tomatoes into 4 or 5 slices per tomato. Lightly oil the glass dish/baking pan. Arrange 4 eggplant planks side by side. Drizzle the herbed olive oil mixture on top of each one, then generously sprinkle feta crumbs. Top each with tomato rings. Add another layer of eggplant, herbed olive oil mixture, feta and tomato rounds and top with the rest of the crumbled feta. Drizzle (there's a lot of drizzling here, true) some olive oil on top of each stack and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

The accompaniment: Legumes aux pates tricolores (tricolor vegetable radiatore pasta with mixed vegetables).
One container of Trader Joe's Asian Vegetable Stir Fry Mix
1/2 bag of Trader Joe's Vegetable Radiatore
Olive oil

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta. Cook for 9 to 11 minutes and drain. Heat a large saute pan with olive oil on medium high heat. Add the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and some additional olive oil. Use a wooden spoon and keep turning vegetables as they cook. When they are tender and slightly browned, add the pasta and mix until blended with the vegetables. Serve with the herbed olive oil drizzle.

Add a nice white wine and you have yourself a great tasting meal.

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