Worried where your next bite of Italian prosciutto will come from? Relax, for the time being anyway. Starting tomorrow U.S. trade officials will impose a 100 percent tariff on some European imports. The move is in response to the European Union's ban on U.S. beef produced with growth hormones. In addition to pork products, the foods affected by the tariffs include prepared mustard, fresh truffles, preserved goose liver, Roquefort cheese and some forms of French chocolate.

"For us, no prices will change. We have enough prosciutto and other imports in reserve to last for months or until they make a compromise," says Claude Mallinger, senior vice president director of importing for Sutton Place Gourmet. At German Gourmet in Falls Church there is still a good stock of sharp Gundelsheim mustard ($2.59 for 8 ounces). "But when it runs out, it runs out," says owner Mike Haene. "No one will pay double for mustard."


Eggplant Steaks With Chevre and Tomatoes

(4 servings)

You can never have too many recipes that make use of the wonderful vegetables that are overtaking your garden or beckoning you to the farmers market. Here's a recipe from Monda Rosenberg's "Quickies 2: Veggies and More" (McClelland & Stewart, $16.95).

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for the grill

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus 12 whole basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise into 8 slices (about 3/4 inch thick)

1/2 cup semi-soft goat cheese

2 tomatoes, sliced

Brush the grill rack with some oil and preheat the grill on high.

Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, sugar, chopped basil, oregano, salt and garlic. Brush some of the mixture on both sides of the eggplant slices.

Grill the eggplant slices until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Brush the top of each slice with more lemon-juice mixture and turn. Dot each slice with the goat cheese and grill until marks appear on the underside, about 3 minutes.

Remove the eggplant slices from the grill and transfer them, cheese-side up, to a flat surface. Top 4 of the eggplant slices with the tomato slices and basil leaves. Top these slices with the remaining 4 eggplant slices, cheese-side down, to form 4 sandwich stacks. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 254 calories, 10 gm protein, 22 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 7 gm saturated fat, 306 mg sodium, 8 gm dietary fiber

Are wicker picnic baskets too precious for you? The food can go in a cooler. But where can you stow the tablecloth, flatware and condiments? Try a toolbox. The top compartments neatly organize the knives and forks. Down below, store the linens. Credit for this clever solution goes to Madeleine Harrell, who does photo styling and production; she spotted the toolbox ($22 at Restoration Hardware) and recognized its picnic/kitchen potential.

Add this Web site to your bookmarks:


You won't need a spacious study to house the vast amount of information in My Virtual Encyclopedia, a site connecting you to an eclectic array of food-related information. But the A-to-Z list seems to have something for everyone: The site includes links to appease chocoholics, assist the cooking-impaired and, like "Red, White, & Brew," salute both the flag and a love of fine wine and beer.

--Erin Crahan Nagle

A Call for Cooking Classes

Fall cooking classes in the metropolitan area will be listed in the Sept. 1 Food section. For inclusion in the list, information must be received by Aug. 13 by mail, fax or e-mail. Mailing address: Cooking Classes, Food section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071-4700. Fax: 202-334-5059. E-mail: food@washpost.com.

Specify in 100 words or less the nature of the courses offered (Scandinavian, French, low-fat, etc.; whether courses are participation or demonstration only, etc.), the number of years the school or instructor has been in operation, the fee and materials costs (if any), location, starting dates and times. Include an address and telephone number for inquiries.

To Do

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Food tastings, trivia, recipe contest and more. Free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Trader Joe's at Tysons Corner, Rockville and Fairfax. Call 1-800-SHOP-TJS.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Fundamentals of Breadbaking--hands-on seminar. Guest lecturer: Didier Rosada from the National Baking Center. $225. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. L'Academie de Cuisine, 16006 Industrial Dr., Gaithersburg. Call 301-670-8670.

TUESDAY: Phyllis Richman, author of "Murder on the Gravy Train" and restaurant reviewer at The Washington Post, discusses restaurant criticism with CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante at the Hirshhorn Museum. $13. 6 p.m. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-357-3030.


AUGUST 4: "Intriguing Wines for Summer"--lecture and tasting with Bob and Fred Luskin at Borders Books & Music. Free. 6:30 p.m. 18th and L streets NW. Call 202-466-4999.

AUGUST 5: Oolong tea dinner at Teaism Lafayette Square. Special guest: local tea importer Brian Wright. $22 includes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 800 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-835-2233.