Saturday I told you I wasn’t going to write a Simple Saturday post. Today I’m telling you that I’m going to write a Thirty Minute Thursday post, today, which really just means that I want to write about a Rachael Ray recipe, an update is overdue, and I’m taking Thursday off from blog posting to spend with my family and maybe sleep in past 6am. I hope you understand and that you’re afforded those same luxuries.
Out of all of the recipes I’m waiting to share, this one for “eggplant caviar” just made the most sense. It’s a healthy appetizer that makes a great topping/dip for breads, crackers, bruschetta, pretzels – heck, even veggies! It has an interesting flavor thanks to a fairly generous amount of allspice, and it may not be for everyone (my mom didn’t love it), but it’s truly different from the standard salsas and ranch dips that you see as an appetizer at every gathering/festivity. I thought it was fantastic, and that it could just as easily make a wonderful tomato sauce if you add a can of crushed tomatoes and let it simmer on the stove. So whether you’re looking for an interesting, last-minute appetizer or a new mix-in for your favorite pasta, this might be one recipe to consider.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the name – Rachael says the seeds from the eggplant make the mixture look a bit like caviar when you’re done. If that sounds too fussy, call it like it is and tell your guests it’s a spiced (not spicy!) eggplant dip.
Two Years Ago: Chicken Chutney One Pot
Eggplant “Caviar” Dip
This eggplant preparation makes for a new and different approach to our favorite purple produce. It’s strongly spiced with allspice, but demure in all other ways, and makes for a great topping, spread, dip, or sauce.
Yield: 4 large, 8 small servings
Prep Time: 25-35 minutes
Active Time: 5-10 minutes
1 ¼ pound eggplant
1 clove garlic, sliced
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice1
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh flat leaf parsley, torn
½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, slit one side of the eggplant two or three times across and place it directly onto a rack slit-side up in the center of the oven. Roast until tender, approximately 20 minutes, or until the eggplant resembles a flat tire.
Set the eggplant aside until cool enough to handle, and then carefully peel away the skin using a sharp knife. Cut the eggplant flesh, now skin-less, into chunks and add to a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Pulse the mixture into a paste and serve either as a dip with bread or veggies, or as a thick sauce for pasta.
Nutrition Information (per 1/4 recipe; halve for smaller serving): 50 calories. 2g fat (0.5g saturated). 0mg cholesterol. 3mg sodium. 8g carbohydrate (4.5g fiber, 3g sugar). 1.5g protein.
1If you’re not a big fan of allspice, consider using half or a scant ⅛ teaspoon; you can always add more after you initially mix it.
Source, adapted: Rachael Ray’s Classic 30 Minute Meals (cookbook)