Sunday, July 27, 2008

Eggplant with Herbed Walnut Sauce in Memory of Sher

Photo of Sher reproduced from What Did You Eat?

I am shocked and sorrowed by the sudden loss of Sherry Cermak, creator of What did You Eat?, one of the first food blogs with which I became acquainted, and one that has been a great source of support and inspiration. Some of Sher’s recipes, like this one for pasta with watercress (with one obvious modification) became staples of my repertoire, and others have taken up long-time residence on my to-do list, along with responding to this challenge (I have been thinking about a suitable menu for two years).

This week, food bloggers are remembering Sher by preparing her recipes. I made the Fried Eggplant with Walnut and Herb Sauce adapted by Sher from The Savory Way by Deborah Madison. This dish is vivid, pungent, fragrant, and thrumming with the flavors of midsummer, just like Sher herself. I used curly parsley from this week’s CSA pickup rather than mint, and I left out the fennel seeds called for in the original recipe, because I am very sensitive to fennel seeds.

Fried Eggplant with Herbed Walnut Sauce

1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/3 inch slices

olive oil (be liberal)

Lightly salt the eggplant in advance and let it sit for 15 minutes. Pat dry.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and cook the eggplant slices on both sides to a deep golden brown

Walnut Sauce With Yogurt And Parsley

1 cup walnut meats (5 ounces)
1 garlic clove (I used an enormous clove; the original recipe calls for a small clove)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 to 1 cup boiling water
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
salt, freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley (about 3 sprigs)

cayenne pepper or paprika
lemon wedges

Toast the walnuts in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Put the walnuts, bread crumbs, and garlic into a food processor and process briefly until the texture of fine crumbs. Take a moment to smell the hot toasted nuts and garlic. Is that not the bee’s knees? With motor running, add 1/2 cup of the water. Stop and scrape down the sides and then add more water until it's the texture you want. Stir in the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the yogurt and herbs. Garnish with paprika and lemon wedges.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That dish looks delicious! Another great recipe!

I miss her badly too!

Cheers,

Rosa

4:07 AM  
Blogger Paz said...

The dish looks very good. Wonderful tribute to her.

Paz

2:55 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

Lovely photo of the eggplant. I am really going to miss her blog and her witty comments. I like to think she would have enjoyed the tributes from so many people that she probably didn't know she had impacted so deeply.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Astrid, Kashim and Othello said...

a wonderful tribute and a wonderful choice of recipe. the blogging world is not the same anymore without her

4:18 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

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4:00 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

A nice tribute and a good recipe choice -- I would say Deborah Madison was a favorite of Sher's.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Glenna said...

I remember that dish too. You did a great job with it. Thanks so much for sharing your love for her.

10:42 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Dear everyone,

Mad love and many thanks.

We can remember Sher together whenever we see or taste something so vividly flavored and colored.

2:56 AM  
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