Dish of Eggplant Caviar
(click to enlarge)

Eggplant Caviar
Russia
  -   Baklazhannaya Ikra
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
2 # 6 oz  
***
2-1/2 hr  
Yes

A fine and flavorful spread for black bread, crackers, etc. Originally created in the Caucasus for people who couldn't afford caviar, eggplant caviar now stands on its own and has been adopted all over Russia. Not surprising, with the Russians running out of sturgeon and Californian exports all going to Europe and New York at top dollar.




2-1/2
1/2
10
7
4
1-1/2
1/2
1
1/3
1/4
#
c
oz
oz
cl
#
T
T
t
c
Eggplants (1)
Olive Oil, ExtV
Onions
Bell Pepper, green  
Garlic
Tomatoes
Honey
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Juice
Make     (2-1/2 hr - 3/4 hr work)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C
  2. Place EGGPLANTS on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Chop ONIONS fine.
  4. Chop BELL PEPPER fine. Crush GARLIC.and chop fine. Mix.
  5. Scald TOMATOES 1 minute in boiling water, quench in cold water, peel and chop fine.
  6. Peel baked Eggplants and chop fine.
  7. In a 3-1/2 quart coverable sauté pan or similar, heat Olive Oil and fry Onions, stirring until soft but no browning. Stir in Bell Pepper mix and continue to fry stirring until the pepper is medium soft.
  8. Add Eggplants to the pan along with Tomatoes, Honey, Salt and Pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer covered for about 1 hour.
  9. Remove cover and continue to simmer on very low heat, stirring fairly often to see it doesn't stick to the pan. Let all excess liquid evaporate, but the result should not be dry. This will take somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes depending,
  10. Taste for seasoning. It may need more salt and pepper - remember, it's a spread. Then stir in Lemon Juice. Transfer to a bowl, let cool and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
NOTES:
  1. Eggplants:   Choose smaller eggplants so they bake more evenly.
  2. Method:   I chop all ingredients by hand. A bit tedious, but the texture is more attractive than that produced by a food processor.
  3. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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