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French Fridays with Dorie: (kinda) Eggplant “tartine” with tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers

Sorry Dorie, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Eggplant “tartine” with tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers, pp 144-15) was one I just could not get my head around. In fact, even though I made a “version” of it (and I use that term very loosely!), I didn’t end up even serving this to Mr Neil because whichever way I served and presented it, it just was odd.

Now, a tartine usually refers to an open-faced sandwich. This version uses eggplant baked in the oven instead of the bread. Uh. OK. Sort of. Not really. But ok then. I baked the eggplant and then quickly grilled it for a couple of minutes to make it a bit crispier.

Then I looked at my (unphotographed in my perplexed state) bowl of what should have been cherry tomatoes, celery, onions, garlic, capers, olives oregano, wine vinegar and pepper flakes. Instead it was cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, tapenade, capers, wine vinegar, pepper flakes and thyme. Hey I haven’t gone rogue on a Dorie recipe for a few weeks now, ok?

And I just couldn’t picture it piled on top a slice of eggplant. Then topped with thin slices of cucumber.  I kid you not. This is what the recipe called for.  First served to Dorie by Frédérick Grasser-Hermé (one of France’s most creative cooks according to Dorie), an eggplant tartine inspired this version. Well I wasn’t inspired. Actually that’s not the case, I was intrigued.  But because there is no picture of this dish (and I scoured the internet to see if I could find one too – to no avail), I was truly stumped as to what it should look like. Even over on the Problems and Questions post on the FFWD site the folks didn’t have any idea how it was supposed to look.  A few suggested something along the lines of “a slice of eggplant with stuff dumped on it”. Ok then.  Well when I did that, it was not pretty.  So I took the topping off the eggplant slices and blitzed them with my immersion blender. And made a kind of smooth salsa.

But that looked weird too. As I looked  at the sad slices of eggplant topped with a too-watery salsa, it came to me. CHEESE. So I topped them with some cheese and popped them under the grill (broiler for you folks from North America) for a few minutes until the cheese was bubbling and a little bit golden.

And whilst it looked more visually appealing, to me at least, than an eggplant slice with stuff on top, it was just “ok” in taste. I found the combo of the vinegar, olive tapenade and capers a little too acidic and the cucumbers were watery so the salsa didn’t “hold”. The cheese definitely helped.

Maybe next time I should follow the recipe properly. That’ll teach me!

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself – join us! Honestly, the recipes that I didn’t like I can count on one hand. Really!

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37 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: (kinda) Eggplant “tartine” with tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers

  1. Mr. Neil September 7, 2012 at 07:16 #

    I am somewhat bemused that Mr. Neil – possibly for the very first time – has had the blogger self-editing!

  2. Cher September 7, 2012 at 08:12 #

    Oh, Mardi. Too funny…
    You did go creative on this one. I think the trio of tomatoes is charming and you can never go wrong with cheese :-)

  3. Vicki Bensinger September 7, 2012 at 08:14 #

    Now you’ve got me intrigued, I’m going to pull my book out to read this recipe. I agree with you though about photos, then at least you have some frame of reference. Hopefully you at least had fun trying to pull something together!

  4. Teresa September 7, 2012 at 13:40 #

    I agree with Cher – you can never go wrong with cheese! I think I’d have enjoyed your version, too.

  5. Stephanie September 7, 2012 at 14:10 #

    Is there anything that cheese cannot fix??

    It is a strange sounding recipe, I want to see what other people’s looked like in the end

  6. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen September 7, 2012 at 15:16 #

    The cheese part was very clever! Mine looked like a messy, unattractive pile of stuff. Have a nice weekend!

  7. Maria September 7, 2012 at 17:23 #

    Cheese and grilled eggplant!!! Great idea for next time!!!

    For me the biggest challenge was the”topped with thin slices of cucumber” part so I just put another slice of eggplant on top and made a sandwich! :)

  8. Helene September 7, 2012 at 19:12 #

    You made me laugh reading this post. At the end it looks yummy!

  9. Mary Hirsch September 7, 2012 at 22:50 #

    Cheese is good. I’m not too sure about the three halves of cherry tomatoes “standing alone”. I’ll think about that. This is a recipe you could just “do”, play by the rules, and pray, or go wandering off on your own. I appreciate reading about the “on your own” journey, liked the cheese idea. But I’ll take cheese with almost anything.

  10. Eileen September 8, 2012 at 02:39 #

    Cheese would have been good in this. Certainly couldn’t hurt. And yes–as predicted, mine looked like a slice of eggplant with stuff dumped on it.

  11. Geoff September 8, 2012 at 03:24 #

    Fun post, Mardi.
    I dunno about eggplant… it never fills you up, no matter what you do with it.

  12. Lola September 8, 2012 at 16:18 #

    Enjoyed your post Mardi! I’m with you on not following Dorie’s reasoning that a roasted slice of eggplant is anything like a piece of bread. We enjoyed this but would rather have the tomato relish on bruschetta.

  13. Nana September 8, 2012 at 16:54 #

    Sorry you did not like this one, but cheese always works. We did enjoy it but I used a
    regular onion in the mix, and it was a bit strong. Great on crackers.

  14. Betsy September 8, 2012 at 21:15 #

    I agree that a picture would have helped with this one, big time. Nevertheless, I like what you did with it, especially the cheese. What can be bad with melted cheese?

  15. marilyn September 10, 2012 at 13:16 #

    when in doubt, use cheese! if Dorie could create eggplant tartine, why can’t you create grilled cheese eggplant-wiches?

  16. Colette @ JFF September 12, 2012 at 01:18 #

    Cucumber is a surprise!

  17. Vicki Butler-Hagen September 16, 2012 at 20:14 #

    Nothing like grilled eggplant – YUMMY! This recipe really looks scrumptious with the addition of cheese and tomatoes too…DELISH!!

  18. Rose September 21, 2012 at 12:59 #

    This is why there should always be a photo for every recipe! I’m a firm believer. This one is now on my catch up list and I’m looking for inspiration. Cheese certainly sounds like a tasty idea.

  19. Charlie November 15, 2012 at 09:58 #

    Hi:

    For a picture go over to

    http://www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com/

    Charlie

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