Adapted from Cassidee Dabney, executive chef, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee
Dabney likes to add her own pickled ramps and peppers from the on-site garden to this eggplant dish. Feel free to garnish with your own pickled onions, peppers or both.
- 3 Chinese or Japanese eggplants (about 1½ pounds), sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground Aleppo, Urfa or ancho pepper
- ½ cup yogurt
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- ¼ packed cup fresh dill
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, sliced thin
Toss eggplant with salt and olive oil to coat. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant in single layer and cook (in batches if necessary), turning once, until deep brown on both sides. Add honey and pepper to pan, and cook, stirring gently, for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Pulse yogurt, crème fraîche and dill in food processor, and season with salt to taste.
To serve, spread yogurt on platter or individual plates. Top with eggplant and garnish with hazelnuts and mint. Serves 4.
“The dish’s ingredients are reminiscent of those you’ll find in southern France, where the wine comes from,” says Blackberry Farm Wine Director Andy Chabot. “All the wild, herbal, spicy and nutty notes go great with Grenache.”