November 7, 2007

Eggplant Caviar

The second recipe I tested from The Art of Simple Cooking was Eggplant Caviar. Very much like baba ganoush, sans tahini and olives. This would make a great appetizer, it has a super fresh taste with just a hint of garlic.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 2 medium eggplants in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the cut surfaces with Salt, Fresh-ground black pepper and olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until soft. Test for doneness at the stem end; it should be very soft. (This took me a good hour and 15 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool.

Scrape the flesh out of the skins into a bowl and stir vigorously to loosen into a puree. Add:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled and pounded into a puree
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro (I used 2 of chopped parsley)

Mix well and taste, adding more salt and lemon as needed. (Mine needed no more lemon, but I did need to adjust the salt).

  • Use 2 tablespoons chopped mint in place of parsley or cilantro.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed toasted coriander seeds. To toast, heat whole coriander seeds in a heavy pan over medium heat until slightly brown. Crush in a mortar and pestle or under a heavy pan.
  • Add a pinch or two of dried chile flakes **(I did this one- recommended!)
  • For a smoky flavor, keep one eggplant whole and char it over hot coals or the open flame of a burner until tender. Cut in half, scrape out the flesh, and combine with other ingredients.

  • Serve it with pita wedges or pita chips, or just about any type of cracker. It's different, it's tasty. You can make it a little spicy with the addition of some chile flakes. I would put this out as an appetizer with other middle eastern style snacks like hummus or stuffed grape leaves. Mmm. Now I'm making myself hungry, I'll have to go try a bite...and the eggs.

    No comments: