Eggplant Dishes

images-1.jpegEggplant is one of my favourite vegetables. It is versatile, healthy and can be used in summer as well as winter dishes.

Eggplant Salad (serves 4 people)

2 eggplants

400 gr of peeled canned tomatoes

3 crushed cloves garlic

fresh coriander/cilantro

1 tsp ground cumin

olive oil

salt and pepper

Grill or microwave the eggplants. Wait until they have cooled. Cut in half and scoop out the pulp.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the garlic, make sure it does not burn. Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

Add the eggplant pulp, the coriander, salt and pepper. Cook uncovered for approximately 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

When the dish is cooked, add the ground cumin. Chill at least 3 hours.

Eggplant Quiche (dairy)

Ready-made flaky pastry

1 packet of frozen grilled or fried slices of eggplant

150 gr of soft goat cheese

1 small jar of tapenade

olive oil

a few black pitted olives

Press the pastry into a pie plate. Smear it with the tapenade, not too heavily though. Arrange the slices of eggplants on top. Add the sliced cheese. Sprinkle with herbs and drizzle a little olive oil. Put a few olives in the middle to decorate.

Cook 25 minutes at 450°F.

Yom Ha’atzmaut from France

israeliflag.jpgIn recent years the French media haven’t been very fair to Israel, to put it mildly, yet I must say that their treatment of the Jewish State has been slightly better lately, with unexpected consequences.

Thus in March, Paris hosted its annual Book Fair. Because of its 60th anniversary, Israel was the guest country. Predictably enough, some people encouraged other countries to boycott the Fair. Fortunately not many countries did and quite a few authors and journalists remarked how stupid this would be; the Fair was about literature not politics. Surprisingly enough, a handful of Arab writers even voiced their opinions against the boycott in the traditional media as well as on line.

Numerous Israeli books were translated in French, a lot of magazines and newspapers wrote about Israeli literature and many bookshps devoted whole tables to Istraeli works. As a result a record number of Israeli novels were sold then.

At the time Shimon Peres came to France for a three day visit and went to the Fair. We were in Paris with our students and the Swedish exchange when this happened, hence the photo on the left. It was quite moving to see the Israeli flags on the Champs Elysées.

Because of the anniversary, a lot of tv and radio programs deal with Israel at the moment. Libération, a left-wing paper, devoted a whole edition to Israel with all sorts of articles about its history, inhabitants, culture, etc. I found it to be ecclectic but not too biased. Let’s hope this continues.

Obviously numerous synagogues and Jewish groups commemorate the event. One of my favoutite shuls hosted an evening on Israeli films, there are lectures online on Jewish sites and the Jewish scouts also celebrate this anniversary.