Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Eggplant "Caviar"

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Nola Celeste
06-02-2011, 03:40 AM
I remember eating this at parties a lot and found that it actually works well with a lot of diet plans (calorie counting and carb counting included, depending on what you switch out). It's vegan, too, and although I'm an omnivore, it's a great dip for parties where you don't know who follows which dietary guidelines.

1 big eggplant
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion
1 cup bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes, seeded
Lemon juice or wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop all the veggies aside from the eggplant finely. Slice the eggplant in half, brush the cut surface with a little of the olive oil, and roast it at 400 degrees until it's soft all the way through. Let it cool before peeling it and chopping it up. While it's cooling, sautee the onion and pepper in the olive oil until the onion starts to turn translucent, then add the garlic and tomato. Stir in the other ingredients and the chopped eggplant.

Toss the mixture into the fridge for a few hours or let it sit overnight; it's always better the next day.

I used to like this stuff spread on crackers or French bread, but I can eat plenty more of it as a vegetable dip. It's also good as a spread on sandwiches. You can add more garlic (I usually do :) ) or leave some out, try other vegetables in the mix, stir in some Parmesan cheese after cooking, you name it.

06-04-2011, 02:43 PM
I learned about this one from a college friend who was of Russian extraction. She made it a lot and usually baked the eggplant whole, but you have to poke holes in it if you do that. We found out one day what happens if you don't ... it does make a really cool "Whoomp" noise when it blows up in the oven, but there is a whole lot of cleaning afterwards.

If you add some Greek yogurt and a little less tomato this is also a nice variation (resembling Baba Ghanoush).

Nola Celeste
06-05-2011, 03:03 AM
Ohhh, oops--yeah, I'll bet that was great fun to clean up. Probably as much fun as it was to clean up the egg I'd put in the microwave without puncturing the yolk a couple of weeks ago. It was indeed a "Whoomp!" :D

I'm going to have to try out the Greek yogurt version next time I make it; thanks for the tip!

06-06-2011, 12:09 PM
Thanks for the recipe!! I love eggplant!!

06-06-2011, 04:12 PM
The oil in this can be dialed way down and still yield a tasty result. I like to roast lots of garlic in olive oil and then mash that into the eggplant.

Nola Celeste
06-06-2011, 04:38 PM
Agreed, the oil can be cut significantly. That's the recipe as I originally received it from a friend's aunt, so I wanted to present it as was. Should've mentioned, though, how customizable it is, and I'm glad you did, Tommy. :)

I love the garlic suggestion.