In about an hour, we’re due to leave for the airport. We’re off to France to visit the Frenchman’s family, but also–to have a second, French wedding. We’re trading wedding cake for pièce montée, vanilla extract wedding favors for dragée, and the city for the seaside. I’m wearing the same dress because come on, but I did buy new earrings and lipstick.
Have you ever taken a wedding dress in a now very-puffy garment bag on a plane? Me neither, but here we go.
For reasons both mundane but also exciting-I-can’t-mention-yet, work feels especially crushing at the moment, which makes me a bit nervous for this trip. I’m worried that relaxing will feel irresponsible. If anyone has advice for overcoming this feeling/really enjoying time off when it’s presented, instead of obsessing over all the things you could be doing, I’m all ears.
Lastly for the moment–in my never ending search for exercise I actually enjoy–I’ve been taking this class. I’m by far and away the least fashionable/flat-stomached/coordinated person in there, but it’s so hard, and so much fun.
This recipe benefits from in-season eggplant and the highest quality, runny honey you can find. The eggplant is delicious piping hot and freshly made, but is equally tasty left on the counter overnight and packed, room temperature, for a picnic. I like to make it for a crowd in the summer; serve it on a platter, generously drizzled with honey, among plates of other summer vegetable salads.
If you don’t have sunflower oil, use the high heat, neutral oil you have on hand.
Barely adapted from Claudia Roden’s brilliant, comprehensive The Food of Spain. Serves 6-8.
- 2 medium (640 grams/about 1.5 pounds) eggplant
- 3 cups (710 ml) milk
- 3/4 cup sunflower oil, for frying
- 1/3 cup flour, for dusting/dredging
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- good quality, runny honey
- Peel the eggplants; cut them into slices 1/3-inch (8.5mm) thick. Move the slices to a large mixing bowl and pour the milk over them; make sure all the slices are covered. (If the milk is not enough, add water until the eggplant is completely covered.) Arrange a plate or pot lid in the bowl, over the slices, to secure them under the milk. Allow the eggplant to soak for 1-2 hours; drain.
- Pour the oil into a deep, heavy pot and warm over medium heat until the oil sizzles when spritzed with water.
- Whisk together the flour and salt until evenly blended, and then scatter across a baking sheet. One at a time, lightly dredge the eggplant slices, shaking off the excess flour with each slice. Fry the eggplant a few slices at a time until golden, about 5 minutes per side; don’t crowd the pan. Drain the cooked slices on paper towels. (If you aren’t serving as you fry, hold the slices on a racked baking sheet in the oven at 200F/93C.)
- Drizzle the eggplant with honey. Serve hot or at room temperature, with more honey.