On my first day back in Paris, I unpacked and slept, mostly. Then I went out for Japanese food – gyoza and homemade ramen noodles and veggies at Sapporo on rue St. Anne. On the second day, I went to President Wilson market and surprised my friend Sandy…who immediately put me to work, waiting on customers who were standing in line for his fabulous goat cheese. I’m not the only one, turns out.
Between customers, we threw back his fresh, pourable blueberry yogurts like shots. He gave me a hard time for not calling or writing while I was gone. I tried to explain to him that he wasn’t the only one of my friends who’ve gotten absolutely zero from me lately. The truth is I forgot to put his email address in my contacts on my computer, but even if I had, I probably wouldn’t have written.
I’ve been a little overwhelmed.
I’ve had so little time to do anything but promote the book the last four months, I feel like I’ve let so many people down by not being as available as I thought I’d be. As I wanted to be.
Sure, I’ve taught and spoken to sold-out crowds all over Texas and I’ve had the time of my life. I just wish I had more of it, time.
I’m going to try to do better.
I roasted some eggplant on the second night, and tossed it with some cherry tomatoes I bought at the market along with some of Sandy’s fresh goat cheese. Everything tasted exactly as it should, and in perfect balance.
Now if only I can figure out how to do this in other areas of my life.
Eggplant and Tomato Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 1 large eggplant
- olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 large leaf of fresh basil, plus more for serving
- a big pinch of red pepper flakes
- a pinch of Spanish paprika
- about 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup of quinoa
- about 2 tablespoons of fresh goat cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C and line a cookie sheet with foil. Toss the eggplant with a good amount of olive oil (this’ll depend on how large your eggplants are, but generally I use 4 to 5 tablespoons total ), some sea salt and pepper and spread out on the cookie sheet. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the edges start to brown, making sure to flip these to the other side about halfway through.
2. Make your quinoa: Put 2 cups of water onto boil. When it does, add 1 cup of quinoa, turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let this rest a 10 more minutes to give the quinoa a chance to soak up any remaining liquid. Fluff.
3. Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Add your garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, and Spanish paprika and let this cook till you can smell the garlic. Now add the tomatoes, a bit of salt and pepper, and let them cook until they just begin to soften; about 10 minutes is all it’ll take. Add the eggplant and cook just till it warms through. Toss with the quinoa, add more torn basil and the goat cheese and serve.