Eggplant, the bulbous purple vegetable, is a delightful oddity. The name alone raises questions and can turn up noses. However, it has a soft, creamy texture and a neutral flavor that allows accompanying flavors to take the spotlight. Called “caviar” this recipe is as delicious and special as the real thing.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried dill weed or 4 teaspoons fresh dill
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Toasted baguette slices
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and brush the cut surface liberally with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for one hour until the eggplant is tender and collapses. Let cool.
Meanwhile heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Using a spoon, scrape the eggplant pulp into the bowl of the food processor, discarding the skin. Add the lemon juice and dill. Pulse until the vegetables are coarsely chopped, not pureed. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold with toasted baguette slices.
Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings.
Photo by Jodi Miller