Roasted Eggplant Salad for French Fridays

Today is eggplant ‘caviar’ day for French Fridays and the first thought that came to me is that roasted eggplant is not that pretty-what do I do with it??  First off I peeled and sliced my eggplant before roasting- a little unclear on the concept but it still tasted good.  I decided to layer my roasted eggplant with cucumbers, tomatoes, Picholine olives, capers, radicchio, pistachios and goat cheese to make a salad with an olive oil and sherry vinegar dressing.  I like eggplant but my husband claims to have been traumatized by eggplant when he was a child and refuses to eat it.  He said that his mother served him eggplant and told him it was chicken.  After he took a few bites and decided it tasted weird his mother confessed that it was in fact eggplant whereupon he became a life long eggplant hater.  He also has an aversion to celery because he saw bugs on some celery when he was in college and could not get it out of his mind.  I think this might be a good night to order pizza!

Please check out the other contributors to this online cooking group at French Fridays with Dorie when it becomes available and consider picking up a copy of Around My French Table and cooking along with the group.  Next week we’re making Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger, so check out the recipe posted on NY Times Dining & Wine  - I think it sounds delicious.

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  1. Your salad certainly looks photogenic! I was thinking of the same thing about those clumps of beige this week. :) Nice challenge on the food styling front though!

  2. French Fridays sounds fun. Roasted eggplant is the bomb especially loaded with garlic. This salad looks perfect for dinner. Great recipe.

  3. Oh your poor husband! I would think that *this* might change his mind. It looks absolutely spectacular.

  4. Could I come over for the lunch? I love this salad! Looks absolutely appetizing, healthy and tasty!

  5. You certainly added a pretty factor to a less than pretty dish!
    I was a little confused (ok, I didn't read the directions) and cut mine in half first time through, so don't feel bad :-)

  6. Like a work of art.

  7. How pretty! And your dish looks delicious, especially with the goat cheese!

  8. So gorgeous. I'm laughing at your line about it being a good night to order pizza. I tell my SO that all the time when I get 'experimental' in the kitchen.

  9. Oh Patty, this salad looks GLORIOUS! I love all the extras, including the goat cheese. Looked like your mother in law had the same thinking as me when I fed this caviar to my children. I'm never going to confess the truth to them though (maybe I'll wait till they have kids) because I don't want to traumatize them! :-)

  10. Your presentation is award-winning! I'm sure the eggplants appreciated the care you took to preserve as much of their beauty and dignity as possible ;-)

  11. Beautiful salad! Certainly more photogenic than my big bowl of brown mush. I can't believe your mother in law thought she could pass eggplant off as chicken! LOL

  12. Love the way your salad looks! Beautiful photos as always! Even when the subject is not so lovely! Have a wonderful week-end!

  13. LOL at your hubby's food phobias! My MIL told my hubby that mushrooms were fried marshmallows…that didn't win him over! I love what you did with this dip…so beautiful~

  14. Your salad looks so good!

  15. I think the hamburger sounds a little more to my liking. I like eggplant, but my mom made it so much growing up, I did get a little put off to it. I love that plate, can't wait to sit down and catch up! Have a great weekend.

  16. What a beautiful salad. Some much more interesting to look at than the caviar (which was tasty, but not so attractive). I have a theory that most men don't like eggplant (at least that's what an ongoing survey — over many years — seems to indicate).

  17. Your roasted eggplant salad is just beautiful, Patty! I would sit down and eat that any day. And for dinner as well. ;)

  18. What a stunning presentation- gorgeous ! I was chuckling at the chicken story. My hubby tried early in our marriage to slip cooked beef tongue into a stew. In all fairness, it looked kind of the same (cooking and eating portion does not look like tongue part….)but I immediately tasted it and questioned it. I thought it tasted very different and told him I did not like the stew. Our visiting friend bust out laughing- he knew my hubby tried to deceive me and thought it was funny that I instantly figured it out. I do all the cooking now. This was a fun recipe and I will revisit it but am not sure Nana will be giving it a 2nd try. Can't win em all.

  19. This eggplant dish sounds wonderful with so many other goodies in it. I so wanna to make this to be able to taste its deliciousness.

  20. How were the cucumbers with it? I might sub those in and leave out the onions the next time I make this!

  21. That's a wonderful way to present this dish, Patty! I had to chuckle at your husband's food aversion stories – we've all got some of those, I think!

  22. Patty..what a wonderful to present your roasted eggplant salad. I enjoyed reading about your hubby's phobias of eggplant LOL! He is cute! great idea to add in goat cheese to your eggplant salad !

  23. I'm glad I'm not the only uninspired FF cook! I like what you did with your eggplant this week. Much prettier than what I came up with following the recipe. I've already made the burger. Can't way I'm a big fan of that either. I need to snap out of it!

  24. Well you certainly managed to make the roasted eggplant pretty! Beautiful dish all around :)
    And your husbands food quirks along with your garden dust have started my weekend off with some pretty good laughs :)
    Hugs and hope you have an amazing weekend…

  25. This looks just wonderful and I bet it is just as good, too.

  26. For something that's not that pretty, you did a great job in making it look nice!

  27. and your husband is how old?… still, I can relate, snails do it to me…

  28. I agree with everyone, that is a beautiful presentation. Wonderful
    photos too. Tricia shared a bit with us and when I chilled it
    and used it today, It wasn't too bad. Thanks so much for the
    birthday wishes, I had quite a week.

  29. Smile. I know a few people who just can't stand eggplant. I, however, love it! I wish I could have sampled some of this. Thank you for sharing this lovely post, my sweet friend. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. I'm smiling and my stomach is growling now :-)

  30. Hi Patty-Your amazing roasted eggplant salad is making me so hungry, it's close to lunchtime, and haven't got a clue what to make!
    Beautiful presentation, and photo, as well!

    Thanks for your kind care and concern. I am finally getting some relief after several days of not being able to even lift my right arm…pretty annoying, and painful!
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  31. Love your interpretation and ingredients! especially the picholine olives.

  32. Your food photos are so beautiful. What a gorgeous salad!

  33. Patty, what a beautiful dish…love the layers.
    Just recently I started to grill eggplant and fortunately my husband like them…therefore no pizza :-)
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  34. I am an eggplant lover, but my hubby is like yours in that he will not eat it! That's ok, I'd be happy having this lovely salad all to myself. ;)

  35. Haha, your hubs certainly had his share of childhood food trauma – good night for pizza :)
    Fortunately both of us love eggplant and I think you did a terrific job of styling and combining flavors here!

  36. Omg, this is the most beautiful eggplant dish I've ever seen! Bravo on the presentation, Patty! You're so right though, how DO you make eggplant look pretty? I guess you've found the answer to that. Too funny about your hubby. Haha. My hubby hates eggplants too. He says they're too mushy and taste weird. I on the other hand really like them. Oh I would love to have a plate of this salad right now. It sounds amazing and delicious! Love the addition of the cucmbers and capers. Hope you're enjoying your summer!

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