Day 342: Aubergine Pizza avec Brie

Eggplant+pizzaThere’s a great sandwich place on the departures level of the Montreal airport, between check-in and security, with brightly lit display cases showing off stacks of sandwiches made with thickly sliced bread and tied together with twine, and cake stands full of suitably French-looking croissants and muffins.

We bought a roasted eggplant pizza of sorts – really a split focaccia spread with pesto and layered with thin slices of prosciutto, thick slices of roasted eggplant and topped with brie, that was heated for us to bring through security and came with a little pot of peppered mayo, which we presumed was to slap sparingly on top.

So we ate that while waiting for our boarding call, and brought an oddly spiced egg salad on purplish pumpernickel with us to the Toronto airport for our layover. The egg salad was mysterious and unusual – not really in a good way – we both wanted badly to like it, but are egg salad purists and this one was trying a little too hard. Plus the bread had become all too leathery with travel time.

We left Montreal at noon local time and got into Calgary at 10pm Calgary time – during our flights and in between Sue and I chatted about turkey cooking techniques, flipped through holiday issues of Saveur, brainstormed new uses for lemongrass and discussed our holiday cooking projects (fruitcake, nutmeg caramels, pan dulce, stollen, mandarin orange jam, homemade candy canes and marshmallows) and it really couldn’t have been a better weekend. I even bought a hat.



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26 comments on “Day 342: Aubergine Pizza avec Brie

  1. A
    December 8, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Can I make the Stroopwaffle recipe in a waffle iron? Same taste different look? Glad your back.

  2. Theresa
    December 8, 2008 at 8:24 am

    If I followed you around to all those incredible places I’d be double my size. Everything looks sooooo good! What else could you put between those cookies? What is dulce de leche? 🙂

  3. Sue
    December 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I saw “Dulce de Leche” in a can at Loblaws on the weekend, coincidentally. FYI

  4. JulieVR
    December 8, 2008 at 9:56 am

    T- it’s Spanish milk caramel, sort of the consistency of sweetened condensed milk but caramel coloured (and flavoured) – it’s not as sweet as caramel sauce. You can buy it in a jar (even Superstore has a PC version) or make it with sweetened condensed milk by baking it or cooking it on the stovetop until golden.

    A -sorry you can’t use a waffle iron – those cookies would be huge! A pizzelle iron makes thin, crisp cookies, kind of like a waffle cone but smaller and thinner.

  5. H.Peter
    December 8, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Montreal gives me the impression of almost being European.
    I have never been to that city, but it is climbing on my list of places to see.

    Your pictures are very very good.

  6. Haley
    December 8, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Yay for stroopwafels! My mom, 2 sisters, and I are huge fans – we each have floury, much loved copies of One Smart Cookie. As second generation Dutch Canadians we also love stroopwafels – I recently tried (unsuccessfully) online to find out where to buy an iron. So thanks for the pizzelle iron tip and the recipe!

  7. Cheryl
    December 8, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I know that cafe! The one time I went to Montreal I ate at a downtown version of it everyday, and then again on my way out of town. That’s when I determined that Montreal was a crappy when you are pregnant – too much pastry, off-limits raw cheeses, and smoking.

  8. Theresa
    December 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks Julie!! I will only make this when there will be LOTS of company around to help eat it!

  9. Dana
    December 8, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Too bad about the egg salad – it looks so good in the picture!

    I should really make these cookies since my Dutch hubby loves them. His birthday is January 5th so perhaps I’ll make them then. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Erica Bell
    December 8, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    That sandwich looks deeelicious! I love brie any way I can get it hehe – one of my faves is an Earl’s sandwich I had a few years ago… toasted baguette, fig jam, brie, sliced apple and grilled chicken. Yum!

    I agree about egg salad having to be a certain way… the one exception is the egg salad at Lazy Loaf and Kettle – my Mom would have n-e-v-e-r added diced red pepper – Lazy Loaf uses it in theirs. I was absolutely hooked on their egg salad (1/2 sandwich) when I was pg with DD#1. 🙂

    I’m glad to hear you made it back safe and sound. Lots of flights were delayed/cancelled last night – I picked up some friends who came in from Orlando; they landed at 12:34am and were supposed to be back at 10:00pm.

  11. Isabelle
    December 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    It sounds like you had an amazing, food-filled trip. I have also been to that cafe in the Montreal airport – from what I remember it’s the only good place to eat in there.

    Next time you’re in Montreal you should check out Olive et Gourmando, right in Vieux Montreal. I’ve only been there once but it was great – a very European bakery/patisserie/cafe.

    The Stroopwafels recipe also looks great!

  12. Theresa
    December 8, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I’m getting way more excited about this pizzelle iron than I should be…..but I’m having a teen party on the 19th and those would be PERFECT.

    What catalog has the iron???

    Thanks 🙂

  13. Elsbeth
    December 8, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    We’ve been plowing through stroopwaffles since Sinter Klaas last week but i’d never considered making my own. i do have 3/4s of a bottle of stroop in the pantry from the last time we had pannenkoek. Very inspired now.

  14. angiebean
    December 8, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I love making these for Christmas! I even make variations with cocoa powder and mint extract. They are great as ice cream bowls in the summer.

    I got my maker for $8. They were marked wrong. Could not believe the price.

  15. stephen roden
    December 8, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Julie, I love your column, but I have just one word for your Montreal sandwiches…….”YUUUUUUCCCKKKKKKK”!

  16. Michele
    December 8, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I think I owe my entire gastronomic taste and love of cooking to an older Belgian couple who befriended me many years ago when I still lived on Vancouver Island. Their amazing, never fewer than 6-course, entirely home-made meals haunt me still, so making the Stroopwafels when I can find an iron will be my tribute to them this Christmas. (I have only eaten the ones they sell at Superstore and love those, so I can’t wait to try your recipe!)

  17. Andrea
    December 10, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Thanks Julie – can’t wait to try the stroopwafels. The recipe i have for dutch cookies made with the iron is quite different – no eggs etc. If you want the recipe let me know!

  18. Tim
    September 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I bought a stroopwafel machine at fantes.com You want the 1/4 inch thick version. It was $60 to order (including S&H) but it has a 10 year warranty from a reliable company. I have used it and loved it. Also, when you grease it, only grease the top of the iron lightly, more than that and you deep fry those cookies.

  19. Markwin
    October 9, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Tim: Do you have to slice the waffle in two with this waffle maker? Or do you use the two waffles to make one stroopwafel?
    How hard is it to slice them?

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