hi friends!! happy post-turkey week. i hope you and yours had a great holiday. i am a very lucky lady because my whole family came to paris last week to join me for thanksgiving. what a treat it was!
we ate, laughed, drank good wine, ate some more, and on and on. it was the best. i also finally saw versailles! yes, it has taken me over a year and a couple months to get there but boy was it special. and not crowded! i would definitely recommend heading there in the offseason — no lines, space to take your photos, and easy sitting at the restaurants surrounding the beautiful gardens.
while my family was here, we celebrated my big brother rob’s engagement (!! yay rob and megan!), made a very special visit to the ritz hotel for brunch, and checked out a number of cool spots. frenchie bar à vins (where my bestie liz works), the smiths bakery in saint germain, and le progrès in montmartre were some of our favorite places we visited. put them to the top of your list for your next trip!
above everything, it was just wonderful to spend the holiday week with my family. my french friends at work and pretty much every french person i bumped into smiled widely at me as i told stories of ordering my turkey (known as dinde in french), and visiting the french markets to pick up thanksgiving ingredients. as we collected our turkey on thanksgiving morning, the butcher wished us “bon thanksgiving!”
while i made a homemade apple caramel pie, we picked up pumpkin and pecan pies from the cutest american bakery in paris: stoney clove bakery. they were great! and the pie crust on the pecan pie was particularly flaky and buttery. my favorite type of pie tbh.
*p.s. if you ever plan on spending thanksgiving in paris, i would highly recommend picking up a turkey from boucherie le foll in saint germain. place your order in advance!
anyways, now that turkey week has come and gone and i’ve successfully eaten multiple portions of leftover turkey soup, i’m in need of something a bit lighter to kick off the week. enter one of my favorite go-to’s, roasted eggplant. i added fresh moroccan medjool dates that i found at the grocery store to this version, as well as toasted hazelnuts, goat cheese, mint, and sumac. quick and straight-forward, this recipe will help you make room for the many, many christmas cookies that are coming your way this holiday season.
r o a s t e d e g g p l a n t w i t h m e d j o o l d a t e s, m i n t, a n d g o a t c h e e s e
one large eggplant, cut in 4
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, the best you can find
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup whole hazelnuts, cut in half
1 cup goat cheese
bundle or packet of fresh mint
1 teaspoon sumac and more olive oil for flavoring
- preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit/180 degrees celsius.
- mix all the spices and olive oil together, cover eggplant slices in mixture (skins and flesh!). and finish with drizzling a bit more olive oil on top.
- bake eggplant for 20-25 minutes in oven. check halfway through and add a bit more olive oil if the eggplant seems dry.
- enjoy! spices in this recipe are quite flexible. some additional ones i like to throw in are thyme, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lemon at the end.
- toast halved hazelnuts on medium heat in a fry-pan until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- finely chop mint until it reaches a paste-y texture and consistency, add olive oil and sumac to mint and mix in a side bowl.
- pull goat cheese apart into morsels. top roasted eggplant with dates, mint, hazelnuts, and goat cheese. drizzle with olive oil to finish.