Smoky, slightly charred sweet eggplants are mashed then mixed with spices, herbs, olive oil and lemon juice. Despite its name, there are no fish eggs in eggplant caviar. It is a paste, ultra smooth or chunky, depending on how you prefer it.
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Cooling time 10minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Author Connie Veneracion
4 to 6tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil(herb-infused, if you like)
½ to 1teaspoongrated garlic
2bird’s eye chiliesfinely chopped or ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes
juice of ½ to 1 lemondepending on your taste
12large basil leaves(I used three kinds — sweet, purple and holy basil)
Poke the eggplants in multiple places with a thin sharp knife to create steam vents.
Grill the eggplants, turning the oven every minute or two, for even charring until the skins are blackened and flesh feels mushy when pressed with kitchen tongs (see notes after the recipe).
Scrape off the flesh of the eggplants; discard the skins.
Place the eggplant flesh in the blender or food processor.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Pulse or blitz a few times for a chunky eggplant caviar. Puree for a smooth eggplant caviar.
Pour the eggplant caviar into a bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings (salt, pepper, lemon juice) to your liking.
Drizzle in more olive oil, if you like, and stir lightly.
Serve the eggplant caviar with toasted bread.
Poking holes into the eggplants to create steam vents prevents them from bursting during grilling.Char grilling will give the best flavors but you may also grill the eggplants directly over fire using your gas stove or in a preheated 400F oven for twenty minutes or so.The actual cooking time depends on the girth of the eggplants.If char grilling or grilling on the stove top, and the eggplant skins appear too black already and the flesh is still firm, just place the hot eggplants inside a resealable bag, close the bag and leave the eggplants to continue cooking in the residual heat for about ten minutes. They should be cool enough to handle by that time.Updated from a recipe originally published in May 13, 2011