My friend is the chef at a wonderful restaurant here in Birmingham.
While I was beating him at tennis this morning, in the already sweltering Alabama heat, he was griping about eggplant. It's so bitter, he said. How can you eat it, he said.
Then he got to the point...there is a delicious new vegetable terrine at Chez Fonfon, layered with squash, farmer's cheese, peppers, and...eggplant. It was an awesome summer lunch: cool, flavorful, and showcasing the best that our area has to offer this time of year.
When we stopped in to try it, we also tasted the salmon crepes, a riff on the brioche-wrapped Bastille Day celebration meal. They are made of blé noir (buckwheat flour) instead of regular old white AP. This is typical of the Bretagne region of France, where they're called galettes (don't worry...all these names stumped my fellow cooks, too).
Anyway, paired with wild rice and duxelles, the salmon crepes are just really perfect. Chez Fonfon continues to quietly be one of the best restaurants in town. And I continue to beat its chef de cuisine in tennis.
ps....Adam, if you're readin this....totally kidding....I know my luck is running out and your Adidas sponsorship is almost complete. Once they decide to give you a shirt you're totally gonna dominate. Unless the purchase of an entire outfit devoted solely to tennis turns you, as it so often seems to do, into a forty year old woman with a rich husband, nothing to do all morning, and no skills.