Eggplant Caviar

Since we live 45 minutes from the nearest grocery store, we look for things to cook that don't require too many special ingredients.  Like this recipe.  It's great on grilled bread, with a big fat slice of juicy tomato, sprinkled with a little feta.  Use it on anything you put hummus on. We love it on tomatoes, sprinkled with feta and olive oil, or smeared on good bread with roasted bell peppers and kalamata olives, or just on crackers! Recipe from David Lebovitz.  This spread can be kept in the refrigerator for five days.


3 small or 2 medium eggplants
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon chili pepper powder
2 tablespoons chopped basil (or mint, parsley or cilantro)


1. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and sprinkle it with a bit of salt.  Preheat your oven to 400º.

2. Poke each eggplant a few times with a sharp knife and rest them on top of a gas flame on your stovetop, turning them infrequently, until they are charred on the outside and feel quite soft (5 -10 minutes).

3. Cut the eggplants in  half, lengthwise and place them cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake about 20 minutes in the hot oven, until the flesh is completely cooked and soft.  

5. Once they are cool enough to handle, scrape the pulp from the skins into the bowl of a food processor.    Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and chili pepper powder.  Pulse a few times, until almost smooth.  Add the herbs and pulse a few more times.

6. Taste, and add a bit more salt, lemon or other seasonings, to taste.

7. Place in a serving bowl, and make a small well in the center.  Add a bit of olive oil into the well and sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs.