FRIDAY FEAST with Trish Morey

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Hello Feasters, and welcome to another fantabulous edition of Friday Feast! This week: amazing eggplants and a newly-minted rural romance author for you to look forward to.

First, news from Us Heins Weren’t To Play Golf because I know how hungry you are to hear how I fared in round 3 of the club championships. Bluntly, I was a complete embarrassment. THREE balls into the water off the tee on the first. I’m still having anxiety attacks about it. Seriously. The Author Trish Moreyastonishing thing is that I’m still running fourth in the champs but with one round to go and the leader 40 shots ahead, I’m just there to make up numbers. And hopefully not make a total nong of myself again.

But on to far more pleasant things. It’s my great delight to welcome Trish Morey to Friday Feast for the first time. Trish is not only a USA Today best-selling author, she’s also a three-time Romance Writers of Australia Ruby Award finalist and two times winner, plus a Romance Writer of America Rita finalist. In other words, this lady knows how to pen a tale!

Now she’s turned her hand to that most excellent of genres, rural romance. Trish’s first rural Stone Castles releases December 1st  but is available for pre-order now. Check it out!


Cover of Stone Castles by Trish MoreyShe turned her back on the girl she was. He’ll show her the woman she was meant to be.

After ten years pursuing a prestigious career in New York, Pip Martin has returned to the Yorke Peninsula to farewell her dying grandmother. She doesn’t intend to linger – there are too many memories in the small country town and not all of them will stay in the past.

Like Luke Trenorden, her childhood sweetheart. A man Pip had promised her heart to, until tragedy stole Pip’s family away, and a terrible lie tore both their lives apart.

Pip cannot deny there is still a spark between them, even amidst the heartache of losing her Gran and the demands of her new life. But it may not be enough to rekindle a love that has been neglected for so long.

When a long-kept secret is revealed, Pip is free to go back to the life she thought she wanted… unless Luke can break down the stone castle Pip has built around her heart.

“I fell in love, laughed, cried… [an] emotional and page-turning read” – Rachael Johns, bestselling author of Outback Dreams.

“A story with a heart as vast as South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula ” – Karly Lane, bestselling author of North Star.

“Pacey, vibrant, sexy … and touching. Stone Castles is the perfect package.” – Barbara Hannay, bestselling author of Zoe’s Muster.

Have a listen to that praise! This is one book you won’t want to miss and it’s available for pre-order from Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, QBD The BookshopKobo, Amazon, iBooks, Google PlayJB Hi-Fi or your favourite local bookshop or ebook retailer. Go on. You know you want this!

Now get the napkins ready because Trish has a recipe to make you drool.

A few of my favourite things

Eggplants and garlic and fat red tomatoes…

Ingredients for Antipasto di MelanzaneIf that’s not a line from Julie Andrews singing about her favourite things in The Sound of Music, it should have been. They’re certainly some of my favourite things, and when I spotted eggplants (or aubergines or melanzane) in the greengrocer yesterday for only $3.99/kilo, it was a case of be still my heart.

Eggplants are just amazing. You can stuff them with spicy mince, cook them up with other veg in a colourful and delicious ratatouille, use them in a base for a delish moussaka, roast them in an oven or over flame and make the gorgeous smoky dip, baba ghanoush. And that’s just the start. Is that not the definition of versatility?

Today I’m sharing an easy and so yummy appetizer, that goes way further than any appetizer has gone before (seriously, this dish deserves hyperbole and lame Star Trek references). And if you don’t like eggplants, maybe it’s because you’re just not doing them the right way. It’s fabulous on crusty Italian bread, awesome with the old family favourite zucchini slice, and it’s amazing the morning after with poached eggs.

Here’s the recipe, from the Women’s Weekly Italian Cooking Class Cookbook of whatever year that cookbooks only cost $4.98. Seriously, $4.98. It was a bargain then and if WW thought to reprint it, I’d buy a truckload for my four daughters and all their friends at whatever price. It is my go-to cookbook and is stained and falling out of its staples but it is sooo good. (Sorry, more hyperbole, but you get the picture…)

So here goes.

Eggplant Appetizer – or Antipasto di Melanzane

2 large eggplant

1 cup oil (I tend to use whatever I need, and drizzle it on as I go, so go with your gut on this one)

3 ripe tomatoes (substitute a tin of diced tomatoes for the fresh, paste and water if you need)

1 tblspn tomato paste

1/2 cup water

salt (if you use – I don’t) and pepper (the good black grinder stuff)

Cut eggplants into 0.5 to 1 cm x 6 cm slices. Heat oil and fry in batches for 5 minutes (or until gorgeously soft and brown. If you add your oil to the pan bit by bit like I do, rather than as a cup upfront, the eggplant will suck it up and you’ll know when it’s had enough because it will let it out again.) Drain on paper towel.

When eggplant batches are done, a little oil more, if there’s none left in the pan, and into that goes the chopped garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Simmer this for ten minutes or so until thick and gorgeous. Pop back the eggplant and combine and simmer a few more.

Season with pepper (and salt if you want) and voila, behold!

completed Antipasto di MelanzaneNow I did make double, because it is so good and it is so popular here in Chez Morey, so don’t be disappointed if yours looks like less. I don’t know how you could be though, because it’s so good.

To make it better – use ripe fresh tomatoes. Tinned are fine and it’s always fabulous, but fresh – mmmmh, it tastes like summer.

Likewise the oil. Extra virgin olive oil and make it local if you can. I use a local Adelaide Hills Bald Hills variety now that is so good, but for years I used Moro in the big tins and still loved it.

For a low(er) fat version, spray your eggplant slivers with oil and bake in the oven until soft. It’s not quite the same but it will save you a truckload of calories if that’s what you’re counting, but use more tomatoes or another tin, as the eggplant will draw up that extra juice.

There are no rules with this kind of recipe. Just make it with what you’ve got and to suit yourself and enjoy!

So do you have a special way with eggplant? Or maybe tomatoes if eggplant isn’t your thing? Or maybe garlic if neither eggplant nor tomatoes is not your thing. Though while you’re still reading, I don’t know 🙂


Trish x

Great recipe, Trish! Eggplant is such a delicious veg. I just adore how it takes on that amazing smoky flavour when you grill it. By the way, I have that AWW cookbook too and agree that it’s a cracker.

Besides caviar d’aubergine, my favourite way to use eggplant is in moussaka. Grilling the slices on the barbecue beforehand gives the dish extra oomph. Having said that, one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten involved stuffed eggplant. Sigh. I still remember that day…

So come along, clever Feasty people. What’s your favourite way to use Mediterranean veg like eggplant, tomatoes and garlic? Or perhaps you have a secret way with zucchini or celeriac?  Share and help us prepare for summer!

If you’d like to learn more about Trish and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @MoreyTrish.

29 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Trish Morey

  1. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Trish and Cathryn! Congratulations on Stone Castles, Trish. Sounds like a wonderful read.
    I’m another eggplant lover. Even though we have a perfectly good gas BBQ, we also have a chiminea with a removable chimney that reveals a grill rack. Once in a while we’ll turn our backs on the speed and convenience of the BBQ, build a big fire in the chiminea, wait for the coals then grill some steaks. It’s a totally different flavour. Afterwards, when we’re sitting around with a glass of red, I’ll throw a couple of plump eggplants on the rack. Takes a while but they eventually collapse and take in all that smoky flavour, ready for babaghanoush. But I agree, so many gorgeous eggplant recipes, I’m drooling. Will have to try yours.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I bet that is AMAZING, Louise. The smoky flavours would be out of this world. Now you’ve made ME drool.
      Really wish we were having something eggplanty for dinner now. We’re tagine-ing though, which is nice but it’s NOT EGGPLANT!

    2. AvatarTrish Morey

      Oh, Lou, I think I really need a chiminea. You can’t beat cooking over coals for that smokiness. I’ve just found a new middle eastern restaurant in Adelaide, and their babaghanoush is so good, it’s like being back in Jordan. mmmmmm.

  2. AvatarAnn B Harrison

    Congratulations on Stone Castles Trish, looks fabulous!
    I’m definitely making this, love all of those flavors and just so happens I have eggplants in the fridge 🙂

    1. AvatarTrish Morey

      Oh, Ann, eggplants in the fridge… they were just waiting for this recipe! Enjoy! And thanks for the congrats on Stone Castles. I just this morning picked up a box from the post office, and they’re here – and they’re beautiful!!! Am in love:)

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Doesn’t the recipe sound delicious, Ann? Perfect for a picnic or barbie or just for plonking on a bit of bread to enjoy with a glass of wine. A bit like Trish’s book. To be enjoyed with gusto!

        What a lovely moment for you, Trish! I bet you’re in luuuuurve.

  3. AvatarFi

    Waving to Cathryn.
    Now Trish. Eggplant. Hmm. Looks like a vegetable to me. When I come to Chez Morey I will wait to be converted. But Stone Castles I can’t wait to read. My idea of a treat. Wishing you mega sales xx love Fi

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      LOL!!!!!! Are you not a vege girl, Fi? Trish definitely needs to convert you with some delish antipasto then.

      Can we all have mega sales, please? Cos, you know, we deserve them muchly…

  4. AvatarTrish Morey

    Ah Fi, but the beauty of eggplants is they don’t look like veges when they’re cooked. They just look – luscious. Taste the same way. Mmmmmh. xx (and I’ll take those mega sales, thanks :))

  5. AvatarEfthalia

    Hi Trish,

    I had eggplant on my mind today. Love it when the universe just lines things up for you.

    Looking forward to some me reading time. This sounds like a perfect read.


    1. AvatarTrish Morey

      “Friday, I’ve got eggplant on my mind…”

      Hey, Efthalia, isn’t that a line from another song?:)) Works for me.

      Thanks for your lovely comments. If you haven’t tried this dish, I hope you enjoy it. It’s amazing on toast the morning after with poached eggs (or just by itself). So yummy.


  6. AvatarAnne Gracie

    Love eggplant, Trish, and I also have my beloved old copy of the WW Italian cookbook. Have you ever cooked the spinach ricotta gnocchi from there? Dead easy, light and yum. So many of those recipes are good, actually.
    I’m very fond of ratatouille — eggplant, peppers tomatoes and zucchini and garlic — I love it hot and also cold. Perfect for summer when the vegie garden is bursting with all of these things.

    Congratulations on Stone Castles — have pre-ordered it, and can’t wait to read it.

    1. AvatarTrish Morey

      Oh, I gave made that gnocchi! Just gorgeous! And ratatouille with lamb roast and new potatoes and sour cream, oh yum, yes. Eggplants are so versatile.

      And thank you for pre-ordering Stone Castles! I can’t believe I have books now. Getting so close to launch date.


      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I’m going to have to try that gnocchi recipe. I’ve only ever made potato gnocchi, not the ricotta based one. Actually, that sounds perfect for this week, seeing as it’s going to be hot. Much lighter than a potato dumpling.

        Anne, you have a former Friday Feast featuring ricotta gnocchi. I think I’ll try your version seeing as it’s a tried ‘n true. They’re always the best recipes.

  7. AvatarAndrea Cook

    Wow that book sounds great. Nove outback romance book and bonus when the have a twist to them like this one is sounding.
    Well to my surprise I actually don’t mind eggplant but will only have it one way and that’s in a vegetable lasagne. Yeah I know lasagne is a Italian dish but this one has egg plant in it. I use to work as a live in nanny and on family I worked for in Jindabyne the mother was a vegetarian. And she made a great vegitiarian lasagne. So goo I have made it a few times since. You wash the eggplant and slice it from top. To bottom lay them on paper towl or in a bowl add add salt to the eggplant. The salt drains the eggplant. You sometimes need to leave it there for a while until the juice comes out. Rinse the eggplant with water then dry the eggplant with paper towl top and bottom and bang you hand over it. This helps get the salt taste out of the eggplant.
    As for the lasagne I’m stuck on some of the veggies used but from memory last time I made it I used a layer a vegetable then the cheese/white sauce and your lasagne sheets (like you would layer a normal lasagne) . I used zucchini in one layer sweet potato in another. Keep layering till fill the dish. The add cheese/white sauce on top and grate chesse on top of that. Then cook it in the oven. When cooked serve with other veggies like mash potato and cooked pumpkin maybe some beans or peas. A meal with a difference but is the only thing I will use eggplant for. So thanks for the blog it might help me to use eggplant more on my cooking.

    1. AvatarTrish Morey

      Andrea, you have my mouth watering. Eggplant in lasagne, why not, when a layer works so well in moussaka?

      I’ve often seen mention of sprinkling salt over slices of eggplant to remove the bitter juices and then rinse, but I’ve never found eggplant to be bitter. Have you tried it without doing that? I’m a bit wary of adding salt to dishes, so it’s something I’ve avoided all this time, but maybe i’m doing it wrong, LOL.

      But yes, vegetarian lasagne is something I must try, think it sounds delish with layers of sweet potato and zucchini and bechamel sauce. Just yum!

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        And mine is watering too, Andrea! That lasagne sounds lovely. I ate something like that in France although they’d layered the veg with a tomato sauce. It was beautiful. Imagine if the veg was grilled on a barbie so it took on some smoky flavours. That’d be something special.

        Trish, I’m a big fan of salt. Probably because my mum hardly salted anything and yes, I know, it’s supposed to be bad for you. But food just tastes better with it! I love watching Adrian Richardson on Secret Meat Business when he salts his dishes and proclaims “Because meat loves salt and salt loves meat!” It’s true!

  8. AvatarAnnie West

    Hi Trish and Cathryn!

    Congratulations on Stone Castles, Trish. It sounds like quite a read!

    Plus you’ve got me salivating with your eggplant recipe. I love the stuff. So much that I can’t decide on my fave recipe. There’s Greek eggplant fritters with garlic sauce, or Turkish Imam Bayildi (which I gather translates as The Priest Fainted – because this vege dish is so good). But next time you’re cooking this recipe maybe I could drop by.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, Greek eggplant fritters sound wonderful, Annie. As does the hilariously name The Priest Fainted! I’ll have to look that one up. Oooh! Just did. Definitely one for the to-try list. Thanks!

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