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)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a baking a sheet with olive oil.
- Slice the eggplants in half longwise, and place cut-side down on greased baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until skin shrivels.
- With a spoon, remove the flesh from the eggplants and discard the skin.
- Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer over a bowl, and let drain for 15-20 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chop the drained eggplant finely, and place in a large bowl.
- Add the basil, chives, onions, garlic, bell pepper, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix well.
- Add the diced tomatoes and gently fold in until mixture is well combined.
- 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.