caviale di melanzane: an eggplant dip
An eggplant dip recipe: eggplant caviar from Sicily
How many wonderful things can you do with a roasted eggplant! Especially if you are cooking Mediterranean. Of course, baba ganoush is the king of eggplant dips, but we have a vassal here in Italy… A roasted eggplant dip that is just a little mintier. Cause we are in Sicily :-).
It’s an eggplant recipe perfect for pasta or bruschetta, and I’m sure you’ll find a few more ideas the minute you take the first taste.
and all of a sudden, Fall again
People and unspecified entities that benefit from postponing Summer holidays to September:
- Airlines feel less guilty, cause they make you pay your ticket almost half the price they usually ask you for your August trip.
- Your shopping abroad budget, consequently (Sur La Table, here I come!).
- You’re expressions wrinkles: they can rest, cause you’re not annoyed or angry with all the crowd between you and the monument/artwork/landscape you were dreaming of having all for you (at least for a couple of seconds).
- Your armpits: which are save from excessive sweating (due both to crowds and temperatures).
- Hotel, Airbnb, b&b people: relaxed and welcoming you with a smile each time you pass through the entrance door.
- Restaurant food: much better cooked and ready to delight you 😉
Out of season is definitely my favorite season.
There’s just one weird thing:
It doesn’t gently knock at your door, as usual. Once you get out of the plane (with still the sweet memories of sunny Miami beaches in your mind, ok not really sunny, we were in the post Irma phase :-)), it is waiting for you, in its full splendor.
Don’t misunderstand me.
I love Autumn. Actually, it is my favorite season. And that’s why I hate to miss each tiny part of it. Those moments when you realize a sweet breeze is caressing your back. The first time you really want to wear a pair of socks. The first pumpkin you see at the market…
But not everything is gone.
Early Fall produce, for example: tomatoes are waiting to be preserved, peppers and zucchini are ready to be grilled, canned or frozen, and aubergines… oh, aubergines are shouting “pick me, pick me. I’ll make your day”. And they usually keep their word. (Especially when you use them to realize Italian recipes.)
Although you grill them, fry them, stew them or cream them!
Last time I creamed them, the Sicilian way…
Or should I say the Middle East way?
Yes friends, don’t listen to the old, exploited legend of Marco Polo bringing noodles back from his trips to China.
Spaghetti & many other “Italian foods” were imported by Arabs, way before Marco, during they’re two-century domination.
Of course, they got the idea somewhere between China and Persia, but only when they got to Sicily, they become what we love and adore: pasta, and the immense variety of Italian dishes that came with it!
So, not only pasta…
ever heard of baba ganoush? The Arabic eggplant dip so delicious you could have just that for dinner?
We have that in Sicily too!
They call it eggplant caviar, cause we always want to give a gourmet touch to our food ;-). No, really, it’s because traditionally you mash, not blend, the eggplant, and its resulting seeds may look like caviar pearls.
You can dip veggies in it, or you can spread it on hot, toasted bruschetta. You can add a tasty layer to your sandwich, or you can season pasta!
I’m sure you’ll find your way…
the eggplant dip recipe
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 teaspoon of salted capers
- ¼-1/2 red chili
- ½ garlic clove, peeled
- 1 teaspoon of fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon of fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon of basil
- 6-8 grinds of pepper
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Place eggplants on a parchment paper lined tray and bake them 50-60 minutes.
- Peel them and blend the pulp with all the other ingredients.
- Yes, it’s done!
dip, spread, season!