Or eggplant caviar.
What was your worst job ever?
I had two back-to-back. It all depends on your take on bad.
The first one was working for a woman who owned a Spanish tapas cantina. There was a clique of waitresses (and I’ve never been a cliquey kind of woman). There was a freezer next to the oven (which makes making beautiful ice cream creations next to impossible when you must bring all 4-6 out at the same time). It was all under the table. I worked from 5pm-6 am. I wasn’t fed. I had no break. And there were choreographed dances behind the bar. Oh yes, and the single worst thing: my maniac boss. Sweet one minute and dragon lady the next. Shudder.
Oh, and I’m not the world’s best waitress.
The second one was working in a Lebanese restaurant (again) the next street over during the summer. It was smaller. Tables too close together. Oh, this one was also under the table. A walk across the street to deliver food. And a steep flight of stairs when it rained. I was paid way less at that job. There was only an hour between the lunch shift and the evening shift. And the self-appointed head waitress insisted I did not know how to properly wash the glass of our wine and soda refrigerator that was situated out of the diners’ site anyway (circles she asked for, circles I did-part of me still thinks she had it out for me).
But I got to work there with one of my best friends, who helped me. A lot. (Bad waitress, remember?) And we got a full meal at the end of our shift, which is pretty standard in most restaurants in France (with the exception of crazy dragon lady). Oh and I finished before 5 am.
So, in retrospect, I bet you all know which one was just slightly better. Friends and food will do that in these kinds of situations.
The food. My friend would mix things up. Order the couscous every once in a while. I forget what else. But I think all but one meal during that summer consisted of pita bread and mezze, or our Lebanese version of tapas. I pretty much loved them all equally.
And I usually make a very typical babaghanouj. Except I’ve been craving cheese lately. Something a little stronger than Kraft cheese slices if you know what I mean.
So I splurged on a little blue cheese.
Wait a minute. Stop right there little missy. Am I going where you think I’m going?!
Yes, I am.
Why? Because my second most memorable moment with eggplant just so happened to include that flavor combination. And I loved every bite of my two eggplant and blue cheese slices.
I’m not the least bit ashamed to say that I (almost) singlehandedly polished off the first batch of this tart, biting, silky smooth dip. Sorry, that’s a lot of adjectives for a dip. I’ve eaten half of my second batch, and the winning recipe for today’s post.
- 3 medium-sized eggplants
- Juice of one lemon (roughly 2 tablespoons)
- ½ cup blue cheese (approximately 50 grams or 1.8 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon sour cream or plain yogurt or creme fraiche
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Garnish ideas: 1 tablespoon olive oil, blue cheese crumbles
- Serve with: naan, pita, tortilla, or toasted bread
- Preheat your oven to 150° C. Poke holes in your eggplants with a fork. Place in the oven for 60-80 minutes, until the eggplant is soft. Turn off the oven and leave until the eggplant is cool enough to pick up.
- Cut off the end with the stem. Split in half and using a knife peel the insides apart from the skin. You should have roughly 2 cups of eggplant innards. Put them into the blender with all of the other ingredients and blend together until smooth.
- Place in a bowl. Garnish. Serve. Voilà!