Hubert Keller Owner/ Celebrity Chef of Fleur de Lys, Fleur, & Burger Bar. 2011 Forbes Four Stars, Michelin Star, Les Grand Tables du Monde, Gayot Top Ten Best Restaurant Winner.  Top Chef Masters Finalist. Bravo's Top Chef & Top Chef Just Desserts Judge.
recipes from Hubert Keller
Seafood          Poor Man’s Caviar
Back to Recipes Listing           Episode: 310          Episode Name: Treasures of Provence: Eggplant & Tomatoes        


Serves 4-6 as an Appetizer

3 large eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
3 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoon chives, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup tomatoes, diced
Pita bread triangles, toasted
Fresh herbs (Optional, for garnish)




  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously grease a baking a sheet with olive oil.
  2. Slice the eggplants in half longwise, and place cut-side down on greased baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until skin shrivels.
  4. With a spoon, remove the flesh from the eggplants and discard the skin.
  5. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer over a bowl, and let drain for 15-20 minutes.
  6. In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the onions and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.  Remove from the heat and let cool.
  7. In another small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the red bell pepper, and sauté 1-2 minutes, or until slightly tender but still crisp.  Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  8. Chop the drained eggplant finely, and place in a large bowl.
  9. Add the basil, chives, onions, garlic, bell pepper, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Mix well.
  10. Add the diced tomatoes and gently fold in until mixture is well combined.
  11. Serve caviar in a small bowl with pita chips, and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.


    • For a more refined plating technique, hollow out cherry tomatoes with a melon-baller, and stuff them with the caviar.  Place the lids on top and serve on a platter garnished with arugula and nicoise olives.
    • The onions, garlic, and red bell pepper can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to mix the caviar.