ffwD: Eggplant Caviar

I’ve noticed that since my sister (Codename: Surfer Psychologist) headed off to Hawaii, I’ve been enjoying healthy appetizer dips as my dinner about once a week. And I realized this isn’t as crazy as I thought because one of my co-workers routinely orders an appetizer for her main course whenever we grab dinner together. So, imagine my excitement when I had to make this eggplant caviar for this week’s French Fridays. Plus, being Filipino, I grew up regularly eating eggplant!

The only downside to this eggplant caviar was the 45 minute roasting time. Now, I love roasted veggies, but I’ve never actually used them as a first course for that very reason. I was getting rather impatient and hungry that I contemplated scrapping the whole roasting idea and instead preparing my half-pound eggplant like I usually do, by cutting the eggplant into long strips, dipping them in a beaten egg mixture, and then frying them in a pan. But, I held off on that idea and tried to busy myself with errands. Seriously, I balanced my checkbook, paid bills, organized my mail pile, packed a box to ship to Surfer Psychologist, and walked to the bank next door. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have made this dish on an empty stomach.

Anyway, when the dip was finally ready, it was pretty tasty! Of course, I left out the raw onion (gross) and doubled up on my new favorite spice, cayenne pepper. I ate this dip on pieces of toast, which was pretty good. The only other odd part about this dip was that Dorie has you throw the skin out. That’s pretty much sacrilege in my family, but I went with it. I think I’ll keep the skin next time.

To see how other bloggers fared with this eggplant caviar, check out French Fridays with Dorie where we make recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maris (In Good Taste)
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:20:56

    This looks like something i will definetly make and really enjoy. Have a nice weekend!

  2. Ronda
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:30:34

    I love new eggplant ideas!

  3. Clarkie @ Beloved Green
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:31:22

    I am bad with the patience too, but I think it was worth it for this to roast for so long. Looks amazing!

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:49:28

    Oh those look fantastic. I love appetizers for lunch or dinner.

  5. kitchenbelleicious
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:50:03

    AMAZING way to use eggplant and one I am certainly trying soon! I love roasting it- brings out the best in eggplant I think

  6. Cher
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:58:37

    We used this as a late dinner too! (While the eggplant was roasting, we walked around the neighborhood & went for ice cream…)🙂

  7. Louise
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 09:10:57

    I just bought the most beautiful eggplant yesterday. As a matter of fact, it’s staring at me “as we speak.” I was thinking of slicing it and salting it to remove the acidity, which also takes a while and leaves me impatient.

    Perhaps, I should roast it which I hadn’t even thought about until just now. Yours looks exotically inviting and well worth the wait. I will be leaving the skin in tact:)

    Thanks for sharing, Yummy…

  8. Meri
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 09:30:31

    It looks really good- worth the wait! I don’t mind making stuff that takes awhile if I don’t have to be working at it the whole time.

  9. Marcella
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 09:41:44

    The dip looks yummy. I had intended to get back on the Dorie wagon this week but forgot to go to the farmers market on Wednesday then I thought today was Thursday until your post popped up. Shoot, it’s hard to be so absent minded. Glad to hear this was a good one after last week🙂

  10. Eileen
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 10:10:36

    Yum! Definitely not one to make when you’re hungry. Apparently, I should also not read your posts when I’m hungry, b/c now i want fried eggplant.

  11. spicegirlfla
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 10:32:00

    That’s my kind of dining! First off I love anything eggplant and serving small, appetizer dishes for a meal is perfect. This really looks good and worth the wait!

  12. oneexpatslife
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 10:32:26

    Your dip looks delicious.

    And I agree about the skin part. Though I followed Dorie’s instructions this time around, next time I will probably return to my old habits when it comes to roasting eggplant. Which means that I slice the eggplant into about quarter inch slices, brush them lightly with olive oil, and then throw them under the broiler for a few minutes, flipping once to even out the sides. Much quicker and the skin stays on.

  13. Three-Cookies
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 10:37:38

    I love eggplant cooked this way. It does not remind me of caviar but its certainly delicious.

  14. Liz
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 10:59:48

    That top photo is beautiful! And I had to think of you when I looked ahead to next week’s burgers with ONION relish…LOL.

  15. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 11:18:18

    Maybe if you caramelized the onions first before adding it to the eggplant dip, it won’t be so bad? It’s also pretty interesting that you pointed out about the wasted skin, maybe it’ll add a different accent to dish!

  16. kitchen flavours
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 11:19:47

    This is interesting! Never tried caviar before, and not sure that I would like it, but it does sound interesting with the eggplants. Have a lovely weekend!

  17. JamieAnne
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 12:44:30

    Yum! This looks great! I agree with you on the skin thing. Wasted skin EEK! I also agree with Maya on maybe adding caramelized onions.

  18. Priya Mahadevan
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 12:54:14

    Ahaa, plus interesante! Onions with eggplant is a match made in heaven – so i agree with JamieAnne above🙂

  19. Dessert By Candy
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 12:58:07

    Love the vibrant colour of your dip. How did you achieve it? Most of the photos I saw are rather beige? Lots of tomatoes?

  20. Tasty Mayhem
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 13:02:28

    Love the skin! Mine did get pretty brown during roasting; perhaps chopping it finely? I wrote up an etire other blog post while waiting for it to roast last night. I’m with the other posters on the onion; it was too overpowering, better if caramelized perhaps.

  21. Mary
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 13:26:46

    I haven’t made this in years, but you’ve inspired me to try again. Yours looks delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary.

  22. Tiffany
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 13:28:50

    I am trying to make new recipes for my family and healthier one! This looks really good but I have never had eggplant or cavier. So I really interested in making it to see if my husband would like it. Thanks for sharing!!

  23. Kathy
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 14:56:21

    Glad you waited…it really was very good! I really enjoyed eating it spread on bread for lunch! Have a nice week-end!

  24. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup!
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 15:23:55

    Good call on leaving out the raw onion – it doesn’t appear to have been a favorite addition of anyone. Hope the law is treating you well😉

  25. Caroline
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 15:50:27

    Love eggplant, not so big on caviar, but this really looks delicious!!

  26. Cakelaw
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 16:35:37

    This looks great YC – I bought the eggplant, so I’ll have to make ir.

  27. Lola's Kitchen
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 17:33:29

    I too considered using the skin. It was a bit tough though, guess that’s why Dorie says to toss it. I used the onion but think it would have been better cooked.

  28. Vianney Rodriguez (@sweetlifebake)
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 18:58:13

    When I was single I used to buy avocados by the dozen, for my dinner I would mash three avocados and eat with tortillas chips and salsa..sometimes for up to a week..I miss those days, lol I would definately chow down on this caviar and I would also leave the skin on!!

  29. chunklet's mom
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 19:12:09

    This recipe looks good. It’s nice to know of another way to prepare eggplant.

  30. Tammy
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 19:13:43

    I liked this better the next day than I did the first one. Along with just about everyone else, I think I’ll roast the onion along with the eggplant next time. It was a bit overpowering.

  31. patty
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 20:47:43

    I didn’t grow up eating eggplant but I liked it the first time I ate it which was cold and in a Chinese restaurant, I just loved it! It’s also a very pretty purple veggie which makes it so unique! Your toasts look so good with a little of the eggplant spread- who wouldn’t love that??? I just need to remember to cook more eggplant!

  32. Betsy
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 21:06:18

    Good things come to those who wait! I like the idea of appetizers for dinners. Sometimes when we snack while making dinner, by the time dinner’s ready, no one is hungry anymore.

  33. Elaine
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 22:24:54

    Your caviar is so colorful! It looks so pretty on those toasted triangles.

  34. Mother's Secret Home Recipes
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 22:27:13

    My most favorite blog….love it.

  35. Quay Po
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 01:15:00

    New eggplant idea is most welcome. I am sure this eggplant dip is a killer. You made this look very attractive and tempting. I don’t think anyone can resist this.

  36. Krissy
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 02:16:29

    My eggplant was more watery than yours…you have a more creamy finish. Looks good and as always, enjoyed your post.

  37. Elin
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 06:19:40

    Yours look good and I paired it with sopes🙂 and it is a healthy one too🙂

  38. Simply Life
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 07:02:42

    wow, I’ve never seen eggplant look so appetizing!

  39. Tricia S.
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 08:18:08

    Yours turned out a great color. Kudos for being “productive” while waiting on an empty stomach🙂 I added onion and I think too much – it really overpowered the dish but luckily….I actually like onion. Nana was not a fan of this one but I will be redoing it to get my ratio a bit more eggplanty- so I will see if she will give it a 2nd chance. Great job !

  40. Life is Full
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 23:17:56

    You could accomplish so much on an empty stomach!😉 Your caviar looks good with the colours.

  41. Kelly
    Aug 21, 2011 @ 14:49:42

    Oh, this sounds so wonderful and looks fantastic too. I love versatile recipes like this that are also delicious and satisfying.

  42. kitchenarian
    Aug 21, 2011 @ 22:10:53

    I often think I could give up meals and just eat appetizers! Your dip looks amazing.

  43. forgottenbeast
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 10:43:19

    I always have to roast veggies WAY in advance, I’m not patient enough for all that oven time when I actually am hungry. I’m on an eggplant kick, so this looks particularly good! I should roast up a couple eggplants just in case!

  44. luciacara
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 15:27:35

    wow – your pictures are great! This was hard to photograph🙂

    I never thought of keeping the eggplant skins…will have to try that, thanks!

  45. Yuri
    Aug 27, 2011 @ 18:40:29

    Love your photos! I really need to get back on track… Miss cooking and baking along with you. Eggplant is one of my fav veggies so I will definitely try this recipe🙂

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