Fresh is so fresh – Eggplant caviar on tomato tartare and olive balsamic vinaigrette
Caviar d’aubergine sur tartare de tomates, vinaigrette d’olives noires et balsamique
Caviar d’aubergine is a typical French dish, but it does not mean it includes caviar in its ingredient list, it’s basically a vegan dish if you don’t add the parmesan on top. Eggplant caviar is made out of eggplants roasted in the oven and reduced into a purée with herbs and garlic. Of course there are various variations of eggplant caviar. You can add herbes de Provence instead of just thyme, or lavender. I’ve had close friends who don’t like eggplants and loved this dish, so I guess it’s a way to initiate the non eggplant lovers to this wonderful vegetable.
Tartare describes a way of preparing ingredients, like you have tuna tartar, and salmon tartar where the fishes have been cut in tiny cubes, then marinated. In this case, the tomato is peeled, cut in small cubes, marinated with herbs and olives and finally placed in the refrigerator for about an hour. So that is called a tartare.
You can make nice presentations with the contrasts of colors, the red, the green, the white and light brown, it looks very summery and fresh. Being such a light and pretty dish, with contrasts of flavors and textures, you can serve it as a light appetizer, it will put you or your guests en appétit (in appetite) for the next courses, it’s screaming, I’m hungry now and I want more! I love this dish, it’s fresh, light, full of flavors and textures and so far everyone who tasted loved it too. Ca sent les vacances!
Ingredients for 4
- 5 medium size tomatoes
- 1 large size eggplant
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- juice of 1 small meyer lemon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- arugula and shaved parmesan for garnish
For the vinaigrette
- 1 tbs kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 tsp capers, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsb parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Cut eggplants in two lenghtwise. Using a knife, make three incisions from top to bottom of eggplant. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Place on top of parchment paper, placing the flat surface down. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 390F for about 30 minutes or until eggplants are soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
Using a spoon, remove eggplant flesh making sure to drain the water and remove the peel. Place in a mixing bowl. Using a blender, blend eggplant with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Let it cool.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add tomatoes for about 10 seconds, drain, peel, remove the seeds and cut tomatoes in small cubes. Remove excess water.
Refrigerate tomatoes for about 30 minutes.
Mix vinaigrette ingredients all together and add to tomatoes. Spare some vinaigrette to add at the end. Mix well.
Using a rind, place tomatoes layer on your plate, then spoon one tbs of eggplant caviar on top, add shaved parmesan and arugula.
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