Eggplant Crostini

Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. There are so many things to say about Julia Child and with a quick look on the internet today you can read just about all of them. If for some reason you hadn’t noticed, Julia was a very tall, extroverted but humble woman who spoke many languages, enjoyed people and made a career for herself that didn’t start until her 40’s. She changed the way the U.S. cooked.

I just completed the book “As Always, Julia”  which is a collection of letters between she and Avis DeVito. Avis was her pen pal, confidant and publishing proxy while Julia and partners were writing their landmark book (s). It is a remarkable insight into both personalities and an unexpected glimpse at the politics of the day as seen through the lenses of two very articulate, intelligent and very well connected individuals. I promise that you will savor these letters as much as her boeuf bourguignon.

I am rarely impressed by celebrity. It’s not that I don’t like people who are celebrities. I just don’t particularly care if other people know or like them. Because I am in the film music business and travel in both the world of film and music, I have known a few. They are people that I work with and I respect them for that. I also don’t envy anyone who is constantly recognized. I once walked through an airport with Eric Clapton and saw first hand what that is like. No thank you. But, there a few people in this world that I would cross the street to meet even though I don’t know them. It’s even better if I don’t have to wait for the light.

Around 1985 I was working in San Rafael, California. My friend and colleague Curtis and I went to lunch one day at a funny little Italian restaurant very near where we worked. It was in a brick one story building in the midst of a light industrial complex, off the beaten path. The restaurant was pretty large and often empty at lunch. The food was exceptional and I soon learned why. We were seated in the virtually empty restaurant next to two older women. Soon, the chef (and later I discovered, co-owner) came out and addressed the older woman to my right. Alice Waters – in full chef’s regalia – greeted Ms. Julia Child and her guest. I knew that I was in the presence of greatness. I barely spoke and watched every bite that Julia enjoyed. So, all of these years later, I have to admit that I was Julia Child’s up-close stalker, well at least for that lunch. My brush with greatness!

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, finely chopped
  • Calamata Olives, halved (for garnish)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Baguette, sliced and toasted

Tools

  • Chef’s Knife
  • Sauté Pan
  1. Chop all of your vegetables to about the same size.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat about a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
  3. Gently sauté the garlic and onion. You cannot use too much garlic in this dish.
  4. Salt and Pepper as you go.
  5. Add the peppers.
  6. Finally add the eggplant and sauté until it is soft.
  7. Take off the flame and let sit for a few minutes while you slice and toast the bread.
  8. Serve on toasted baguette with a single half of olive on top.

 

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