September 15, 2011
We recently had friends over and I came up (a little last minute, as usual) with this easy outdoor Moroccan dinner. My plan started with my non-stop supply of eggplant from the garden matched with a recent episode of Jamie at Home that was hanging out in my mind. A quick trip to Trader Joe’s later, I was whipping up dinner for six, Moroccan style. This menu is great for entertaining, because the dishes are simple in execution and can all be made in advance.
My favorite part of the prep was grinding my own meat. It’s rather easy to do, but never fails to make me feel pretty bad-ass (well, as bad-ass as you can feel in a super cute apron).
Moroccan Dinner Menu
Eggplant Salad (My recipe included below)
We drank a light, fruity red with this menu. A Cru Beaujolais from the ripe 2009 vintage would work well.
Family Style Grilled Eggplant Salad
6 – 8 Japanese eggplant (sliced in 1/2” pieces)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chives
3 tablespoons, roughly chopped basil
1/2 cup feta (I like the Israeli one from TJ’s)
Sprinkle about 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
Douse the eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on medium-high heat (I use my grill pan) until soft and the flesh of the eggplant has good markings. About 4-6 minutes a side.
Make the dressing by mixing the garlic, lemon, kosher salt and red pepper flakes and then whisk in the 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil .
Spread the cooked eggplant on a platter and spoon over your desired amount of dressing (at this point, you can have this sit at room temperature for up to two hours). Right before dinner time, top the eggplant with the following the herbs, feta and cayenne pepper.