I first had this tasty appetizer in a French restaurant in Los Angeles, California. They called it Aubergine Caviar, which I learned is an eggplant dip from the Mediterranean region of France. It’s packed with flavor, but the recipe is very simple.
Here is a fun fact about eggplant: In Ancient Rome, the Romans believed that eggplants were poisonous because they had a very bitter flavor. But they thought they were pretty with their deep purple color, so they used them as decorative houseplants. After centuries of cultivating the eggplant, they are much more palatable today. And they have become a staple of the Mediterranean diet.
Eggplants are also known as aubergines. They are technically a fruit, although we usually treat them as a vegetable in cooking.
They are very rich in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. They supply a good amount of fiber, manganese, folate, potassium, Vitamins C and K, and are high in antioxidants.
Here is the easy recipe for Aubergine Caviar – French Eggplant Dip:
Aubergine Caviar - French Eggplant Dip
- food processor
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 cloves garlic
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush lightly with olive oil and place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Scoop out the flesh from the eggplant and transfer it to a food processor.
- Add the garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. Scrape down the sides, and with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
- Allow to cool for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of fresh parsley, and slices of French baguette.