Eggplant caviar is the Soviet summer staple you didn’t know you needed. Think of it as Eastern European salsa or bruschetta.
- 2 medium eggplants (1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 red bell peppers
- About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium vine tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons finely diced white or red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley and/or cilantro
- 2 tablespoons apple cider, white, or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Ukrainian unrefined sunflower oil (you can sub with EVOO)
- 1 medium garlic clove, crushed or grated
- About 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Using a fork, poke holes in the eggplants at approximately 2-inch intervals* (see note below). Drizzle the eggplants and peppers with a few drops of olive oil and rub to coat evenly.
- Roast the veg. Place on a baking sheet and roast until blistered, blackened, and totally collapsed, 45 to 60 minutes, turning the veg every 20 minutes or so. (The peppers may be done first, so pull them out and continue roasting the eggplants.)
- Cool the veg. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside at room temp – or chill in the fridge – until they’re cool enough to handle. (Covering the bowl with plastic traps the steam, making the veg easier to peel later.)
- Prep the tomatoes. Meanwhile, cut an X into the bottoms of the tomatoes, cutting about a quarter of the way through. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for a few minutes. Then drain and run tomatoes under cold water. Peel off the skins and discard. Finely dice and place in a large bowl.
- Peel the veg. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the roasted vegetables and discard, along with the tops. Split open the peppers and discard the ribs and seeds. Firmly squeeze the eggplant flesh with your hands and discard the excess liquid.
- Finish the caviar. Place the eggplants and peppers in a food processor and puree until smooth (alternatively, chop them very finely). Transfer the puree to the bowl with the tomatoes and add the onion, parsley, garlic, vinegar, sunflower oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Set aside for at least 15 minutes before serving. (Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to 5 days).
This may prevent eggplants from exploding in the oven. (Now, I’m not sure an eggplant has ever actually exploded or if it’s an old wives’ tale, but l do it just to be safe.)
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 95
- Fiber: 5.6 g
- Protein: 1.9 g
Keywords: russian, ukrainian, eggplant, caviar, ikra