Roasted Eggplant with Curried Chickpeas

This dish presents beautifully at a dinner party, and the curried chickpeas are loaded with wonderful Indian flavor combinations.

 I like to serve this with warm naan bread fresh from the oven.


Roasted Eggplant with Curried Chickpeas


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil, plus more for garnish       
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • ½ tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 1¼ tbsp curry powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish


  1. Leaving eggplant whole, carefully slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Gently sprinkle a generous amount of salt between each layer & let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. 
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a paper towel, gently pat each layer clean of the salt & oil the eggplant released. Lightly brush, or spray each eggplant with olive oil, making sure to get in between each layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, gently pull to slightly open up the eggplant, fanning the layers (you will do this again 1/2 way through roasting so do not force and break the eggplant apart). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
  3. After 25 minutes, remove the eggplant from the oven and gently and carefully press down on the eggplant using a spatula to fan further and separate the layers. Place back in oven and roast for 20 more minutes, or until very tender.
  4. Warm six tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onions, diced red peppers, garlic and a pinch of salt until garlic lightly browns, 6 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add curry powder and chickpeas. Sauté until beans warm through. Off heat, stir in parsley, cilantro, and scallions.
  5. To serve, top each eggplant with curried chickpeas. Garnish with additional olive oil, herbs, and scallions. Serve with flatbread, rice or a salad.

Baba Ghanoush

This creamy dip is one of my favorite ways to use eggplant. If you haven't made Baba Ghanoush, you are missing out and are in for a treat!

This eggplant dip is creamy, low-fat and has a nice lemon zip. I love it served warm with raw vegetables or crackers, but it's also fabulous spread on a sandwich!  


Baba Ghanoush


  •  3 whole medium eggplants
  •  4 tbsp tahini
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  •  1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced


  1. Prick the surface of each eggplant several times with the tines of a fork.
  2. Under the broiler, blacken/char the eggplant for 25 minutes. The skin should be completely shriveled and dark, and the eggplant almost fall-apart tender. You will need to rotate the eggplant a few times during this process, so it evenly cooks. Set them aside to cool slightly.
  3. When cool, peel off skin enough to get a spoon into each eggplant and scrape out the flesh into a bowl. Try to get as much as you can, even the stuff that’s stuck to the inside of the skin. (This process is a total mess, so don’t worry.)
  4. Mash eggplant with a fork. A few chunks are fine; you want a relatively smooth texture.
  5. Stir in all other ingredients, tasting before adjusting seasonings. It is crucial that you don't UNDER salt. The salt will make all the flavors pop once you have enough, so slowly add more until you have a bright flavored dip!
  6. Serve with pita triangles, baguette slices, chips, crusty French bread…or dive in with a spoon.

Friday Favorites: 5 Dinner Party Essentials

One of my favorites elements to hosting dinner parties is creating a beautiful place setting for each guest. Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite items!

-- Just for full transparency, an affiliate link is attached to each item when you click on the image, but this post isn't sponsored, it's simply my absolute tried and true, current favorite items! Happy shopping!  --

1) Dinner Plates

These Organic Shaped Dinner Plates are my absolute favorite, they are strikingly beautiful.

The imperfect shape of each dish adds a simple but unusually beautiful touch to each place setting. 

Often I hear guests comment that they love these plates when I use them.

A must buy if you are in the market for new dishes or wanting to add a few sets! 

2) Salad Plates


If you get the dinner plates, you must add on the salad plates - you can hold out of other items from the collection, but the salad plates really complete the look when placed on top of the dinner plates.

It is a dreamy set of dishes to own. I am collecting them set by set as I can afford them.

3) Linen Napkins

Linen immediately upgrades your table, the look and feel is luxurious. They get softer after each wash and hold up against stains immensely better than simple cotton napkins. 

These are also West Elm (no, they are not sponsoring this post) you just can't beat the quality and price on these napkins! They are on sale for $19 right now, with free shipping!

Again, I buy a set as they go on sale or as I can afford them, building my collection slowly. I have these in midnight and adore them! 

4) Linen Cocktail Napkins

Every dinner party I get asked multiple times about my cocktail napkins, and here they are! 

They are from Amazon, and at $17 for a dozen, they are a steal! 

Have no fear about the white, from red wine to lipstick, these napkins come out of the wash perfectly, and I swear are stain-proof. I do add in a scoop of oxy clean, but still so impressed by the affordability and durability.

I promise your guests will love them and ask you where they can get some! 

5) Hi-Ball Glasses


I am obsessed with these glasses - they are only $12 for a case of 12! 

Thanks to their slender profile, they feel dainty in your hand and are perfect for a signature cocktail or water.

These glasses are also extremely durable, after many dinner parties and daily use, I haven't broken one yet!


Comment below if you have any questions, suggestions, or need anything.

Thanks for reading, I hope this post inspired you to get a few new items to fancy up your dinner table!

xo - Bailey Rae

Spinach and Orzo Salad

I have a few go-to lunch salads that I make over and over again and never tire. 

This salad is one of my favorite lunch salads to toss together. I love the texture of orzo, so adding it to a salad? Yes, please! 

The salad is quite simple, but it is easily customizable - think Greek Salad with a fresh, new twist! You could add pepperoncini, feta cheese, or better yet, grill Halloumi to go on top - YUM!


Spinach and Orzo Salad


  • 4 oz baby spinach 
  • 1 lb of cooked orzo 
  • 1 cup of pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 cup of peppadews, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint or basil
  • optional add-in's: feta cheese, pepperoncini, cherry tomatoes, grilled halloumi


  1. In a large bowl toss together the orzo, olives, peppadews, red onion, garlic and any other ingredients you want to add-in. 
  2. Add the spinach and gently toss to combine.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and top with fresh mint of basil. Toss and serve.

Easy Entertaining: Street Tacos

You don't need fancy food and elaborate tablescapes to entertain. There are many weeknights we have friends pop over for a casual, last-minute meal, and tacos are an easy go-to.

First, I have my man whip up a batch of his famous salsa or guacamole for everyone to enjoy while I cook the main event.


In these "Street Tacos" mushrooms take the leading role, but don't let that scare you away! They are so dang good, even the meat-lovers will come back for seconds. 

I also make a quick version of a Spanish rice to add into the tacos or serve on the side. Lastly, I finish the tacos with a bright and limey cilantro sauce. Yum! All together you can have this meal ready in around 30 minutes, make it perfect for a night of easy entertaining.


Print this recipe and keep in on hand of those easy entertaining evenings! 

Easy Entertaining: Street Tacos


  • 1/2 cup + 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 cup of “no” chicken stock
  • 1 cup of cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup parsley 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pkg of tortillas


  1. In a sauce pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat, add onions and salt. Sauté onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato, rice, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, 1/2 cup of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until a sauce is formed.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the mushrooms for 8-10 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add the Black beans and half of the green sauce and cook until heated through. Reserve the remaining sauce to spoon on top of the tacos.
  5. Serve each tortilla with a scoop of rice, mushroom and bean mixture, any additional toppings such as lettuce and avocado, drizzle with additional sauce.