I love a potluck because it’s fun to make something for a crowd once in awhile as well as dig into something special made by other cooks (and chefs.) Seattle has block parties once a year for Neighborhood Watch and my block participates. New residents and people who’ve lived here longer take the opportunity to meet up, have a meal and converse, all the while neighborhood children are doing their own version of the same thing, along with a few supervised games and an annual photograph that they will love or hate when they’ve moved along in years.
My daughter’s birthday is upcoming and she will be on holiday during the event, so I took the potluck opportunity to make a version of her longtime favorite eggplant parmesan, but with the eggplant roasted, chopped and folded into the slightly spicy red sauce, then topped with the mozz and parm and baked, and served as a dip. I already knew that it’s a crowd pleaser and goes well with the variety of salads which regularly make a potluck appearance.
To attend the spicy eggplant, I made this huge loaf of fresh sourdough bread. I cut it vertically in one inch slices, painted on some fresh garlic butter, sprinkled it with freshly grated parmesan and broiled it to crunchiness, then downsized the portions.
While I neglected to take photos of the eggplant and rustic garlic bread when they were on the tray and ready to serve, fortunately I did take a photo a while back of the dessert I also made for the party. One of the neighbors and his daughter brought me a big bowl of wild blackberries they’d picked while boating — no traffic pollutants, no poisonous sprays — and after smashing and sieving those berries, a double batch of my special blackberry ice cream provided a good number of people with blackberry goodness. Both bowls looked like this, more fruit than creams:
No leftovers, not a single bite.
And the garden shot: