Chef in Venice #4 - Aubergine caviar

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Cut your aubergine (I used the local variety) in half, then score down to the skin (taking care not to actually cut through - you don’t want to dice it).

Drizzle generously with olive oil (aubergines really soak it up) and season with salt, pepper, and any spice if you want to - cumin is nice. As we had rosemary in abundance I studded it with these, pushing them down in to the flesh, so as they cooked it would impart the flavour. You can also use whole garlic cloves. These roasted for around 45 minutes or so at 180 oC.
Once cooked you can take a dessert spoon, and run it along the skin to scoop up the roasted flesh. Then chop it, mix with crème fraich/ or marscapone/ yogurt (depending on what you have), olive oil, lemon juice and season. Ideally you add chopped fresh coriander too.

What else to do with aubergine puree

  • If you want a strong roasted flavour leave them uncovered - if you want a lighter taste and colour cover the tray of aubergines in foil while they are cooking.

  • You could puree the cooked aubergine in a food proccessor and add the resulting puree to you red wine sauce.

  • It makes a great vegetarian sandwich topping.
  • Instead of roasting like this you can put it directly on the gas flame of your stove. Keep turning every 5 minutes or so. By the time it is cooked in the middle it will be well charred on the outside. This gives the resulting puree the most wonderful smoky flavour.

For more Venice dishes see here -

1 comment

Abitofafoodie said...

I love the flavour of aubergine and I've always been intrigued by 'aubergine caviar' and meaning to give it a try. I bet it is really good. I'm so jealous that you are in Venice - how gorgeous!