Eggplant Caviar {FFwD} — A Rewind, of Sorts

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was actually a repeat for me. This was the first recipe I made from Around My French Table before French Fridays even started. The only change I made this time was to add some slow-roasted tomatoes.

You can read the original post that I wrote about getting Dorie’s book and this recipe in September, 2010, by clicking here. Rather than blogging about the recipe again, I’m excerpting part of the original post here:

This is really a simple recipe (which, in case you’re wondering, has no caviar in it). The first step is to roast the eggplants.

In a sidebar Dorie suggests slitting the eggplant and stuffing it with slivered garlic. I followed her suggestion, and the roasted garlic gave the eggplant great depth of flavor. I baked the eggplants for 45 minutes, until they were soft and wrinkly.

Once the eggplants had cooled, I halved each one and scooped out the meat. I think I should have baked the eggplants another 15 minutes or so, as some of it didn’t scoop out cleanly. I was able to get most of the meat into the bowl, where I mixed it with garlic and olive oil. (As a side note, if you stuff the eggplant with garlic, you might want to cut back a bit on the raw garlic.)  The recipe says to mash everything together with a fork, but I found it easier to squish it up with my fingers. [Note: the second time I made this recipe, I roasted the eggplants a bit longer, and the meat scooped out better and mashed beautifully with a fork.]

After the eggplant meat was sufficiently broken down, I added the remaining ingredients — lemon zest and juice, onion, basil, thyme, cilantro, cayenne, salt, and pepper [and the second time, roasted tomatoes marinated in olive oil].

The recipe doesn’t specify how much salt to add; I found that it needed quite a bit, about 2-3 teaspoons. I used black truffle salt, which gave the dish amazing flavor. I also added healthy amounts of black pepper and cayenne.

I was hooked on Dorie from the time I tried this recipe, and I went on to make about half a dozen others from AMFT before French Fridays started. 

When this recipe came up for French Fridays, I actually forgot I had made it before. I’m glad, because had I remembered I might have passed on making it again; and this is definitely one worth repeating.

Eggplant Caviar — Around My French Table {AMFT}

Like most serious home cooks, I know the name Dorie Greenspan. But until recently, I didn’t own any of her books. That changed a week or two ago, when I ordered a copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours. A number of my online baking friends are members of Tuesdays With Dorie, a group that bakes a different recipe from Baking every week. It was too late to join the group, as membership is closed, but I’ve heard so many great things about the book, I wanted to get it.

About the time the book arrived, I learned that Dorie had a new book coming out, Around My French Table. I also found out that there was a new group forming, French Fridays With Dorie. I thought it might be fun to join this new group, but I wanted to try a few recipes from the book before I committed myself.

Although the release date is October 8, Amazon already had it in stock; so I ordered it and two days later, it was at my door. I opened the book, and the first recipe I saw was Eggplant Caviar (p. 23). Since I had just picked up some beautiful eggplant at the farmer’s market, this recipe seemed like as good a place as any to start.

I picked up another (less beautiful) eggplant and the herbs at the store, and set to work. This is really a simple recipe (which, in case you’re wondering, has no caviar in it). The first step is to roast the eggplant.

In a sidebar, Dorie suggests slitting the eggplant and stuffing it with slivered garlic. I followed her suggestion, and the roasted garlic gave the eggplant great depth of flavor. I baked the eggplant for 45 minutes, until they were soft and wrinkly.

Once the eggplant had cooled, I halved each one and scooped out the meat. I think I should have baked the eggplant another 15 minutes or so, as some of it didn’t scoop out cleanly. I was able to get most of the meat into the bowl, where I mixed it with garlic and olive oil. (As a side note, if you stuff the eggplant with garlic, you might want to cut back a bit on the raw garlic.)  The recipe says to mash everything together with a fork, but I found it easier to squish it up with my hand.

After the eggplant was sufficiently broken down, I added the remaining ingredients — lemon zest and juice, onion, basil, thyme, cilantro, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

The recipe doesn’t specify how much salt to add; I found that it needed quite a bit, about 2-3 teaspoons. I used black truffle salt, which gave the dish amazing flavor. I also added healthy amounts of black pepper and cayenne.

So, how did my first Dorie Greenspan recipe come out? Well, let’s just say I’m glad I bought two of her books. I’m going to bake the brioche recipe from French Table next, then maybe I’ll have a go at something from Baking.

Oh, and I already signed up for French Fridays.

Semi-Silent (and Succulent) Saturday — Farmer’s Market Bounty

Giant Blackberry!

 

Eggs, hen and duck

 

African (Garden Egg) Eggplant and Purple Peppers

 

Squash Season is Here!