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French Fridays with Dorie: Eggplant caviar

I had planned to make this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Eggplant caviar) last week in France for our final meal.  But the eggplants I bought ended up in a pasta sauce instead so I made this in a jetlgged fog on my first day back in Toronto.

After two weeks eating and drinking our way around Alsace and Burgundy, and 6 weeks in Europe, my tummy is definitely ready for some light dishes and this fit the bill perfectly. Contrary to its name, caviar d’aubergine as it is known en français, has nothing to do with caviar and everything to do with baba ghanoush.  I really loved this take on it, because, so often, this dip/ spread is a one-dimensional tub of gloop. Dorie’s recipe includes fresh herbs, onions and chopped tomatoes which not only lend some colour to the basic brown but also some much needed texture.

It’s sweet and sharp and fresh tasting – a perfect dip or spread.  We served ours with tiny lamb chops that were serendipitously waiting for us in the freezer along with a minted-pea purée and it was a lovely change from “3 veg”.

Would I make this again? Absolutely. Would I think twice about buying this now I know how easy it is to make it interesting and slightly prettier? Of course!

Want to join French Fridays with Dorie? Join here.

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

Check out my Summer 2011 Flickr set. You never know what or who you might see there, like, you know… Dorie….

Live in Toronto? Want to learn to make macarons. Avec moi? Check out my post and free class giveaway from Le Dolci here.

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55 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Eggplant caviar

  1. Belinda @zomppa August 19, 2011 at 06:47 #

    A great first meal – welcome back! I get what you mean…I still have nothing in my refrigerator. Need to head to the store, and this is making me go…hmm….

  2. Dessert By Candy August 19, 2011 at 08:43 #

    Welcome back to Canada! Sounds like a great meal to come home to. I totally agree…not shelling out my money anymore to buy the pre-made stuff!

  3. Alice August 19, 2011 at 09:20 #

    Glad you liked it too! I’m going to make it for some dinner party or get together in the future! It was so easy to make!

  4. Maya August 19, 2011 at 09:34 #

    Mardi, you’re back! Although with you constantly posting all these weeks, I never really felt like you were totally away. So glad you enjoyed this dip, it was a hit at home too despite me masking it as guacamole ;-). Or maybe because of it.

  5. Mr. Neil August 19, 2011 at 09:34 #

    It’s hot and I didn’t feel like opening a full bottle of red, so I actually paired this with a French (Provence) rose.

    Nice match for the veggies, and not so fruit-forward so pleasant enough with the lamb…not a first choice by any means, but decent alternate on hoit muggy summer’s day for a wee glass avec dinner.

  6. Curt August 19, 2011 at 10:17 #

    That really does sound very good. Nice and fresh!

    I’m broadening my tastes, but still hanging out in the backyard with the grill and smelling the smoke from the smoker!

  7. Steph I August 19, 2011 at 10:56 #

    Mardi, lovely as usual! Glad you were able to cook, even with the awful jet lag. I’m sure you’re glad to be home, but missing France at the same time. Welcome home.

  8. Eileen August 19, 2011 at 11:06 #

    I’m so jealous of your 6 weeks in Europe, it’s not even funny.

    Lamb chops sound like a perfect partner for this dip. Then again, I thin lamb chops are the perfect partner for just about anything. YUM.

    That is one mean looking knife. Intruders, beware!

  9. FreeSpiritEater August 19, 2011 at 11:18 #

    Thanks so much for sharing, the photos and recipe are wonderful! I’m glad you had a great time. =]

  10. rinku August 19, 2011 at 11:22 #

    This looks so tempting I am almost persuaded to buy the book.

  11. one expat's life August 19, 2011 at 11:28 #

    I tend to overindulge when I travel too, this would definitely be the perfect recipe to ease back into healthier ways at home. Happy to hear that you enjoyed it.

  12. Liz August 19, 2011 at 12:06 #

    Welcome back, Mardi! Beautiful photos despite your jet lag :)

  13. Cher August 19, 2011 at 12:30 #

    Lovely photos!
    It was nice that this was so simple (once I started reading the directions…)
    Hope you recuperate quickly.

  14. Denise August 19, 2011 at 12:47 #

    Welcome back! Checked out your Flickr set for a bit of envy to start my day – my favorite are the grape shots!

  15. Dave at eRecipeCards August 19, 2011 at 14:55 #

    Beautiful photos. Loved looking back over your Europe posts. SO jealous

  16. Kate@Diethood August 19, 2011 at 20:55 #

    Ooooh I wish I had served it with some lamb chops…excellent idea! We also add roasted peppers to this and call it “Pindjur” :) … It really does go well with just a piece of bread or as a side to any meal.

  17. Betsy August 19, 2011 at 21:49 #

    Even though this was easy, what an ambitious first meal back. Looks lovely as usual.

  18. Tricia S. August 20, 2011 at 00:15 #

    Welcome back and kudos for knocking out such a great dish and post in a “jetlagged fog” :) I will be revisiting this recipe again when I am not rushing through it (famous last words) but am not sure Nana is going to give it a 2nd chance. We both love to hear about your wonderful trip and will be checking out the flicker photos- thanks in advance for sharing !!

  19. Elin August 20, 2011 at 07:00 #

    Mardi…welcome home and despite jetlagged you still make this wonderful dip. I made some sopes to eat with this eggplant dip. Thumbs up and shall be making this again :)

  20. MikeVFMK August 20, 2011 at 12:59 #

    Mardi, this dip looks great! We don’t eat nearly enough eggplant in this house and this looks like a great use which is perfect for entertaining. Thanks!

  21. kitchenarian August 20, 2011 at 18:17 #

    Your dip looks great. Thanks for the tip you left on my blog about using the immersion blender. I am definitely doing it that way next time.

  22. Ann August 20, 2011 at 21:33 #

    Wow – I LOVE this Friday with Dorie. I’m a huge fan of eggplant, so this is a favorite of mine!

  23. Paula August 21, 2011 at 01:31 #

    Your title had me scrunching up my nose…til I read the post! Looks wonderful Mardi.

  24. penny aka jeroxie August 21, 2011 at 08:12 #

    babe – how do you keep up with play and more play? you are crazy fab!

  25. Tres Delicious August 21, 2011 at 20:27 #

    What a wonderful work of creativity. I will certainly love that caviar.

  26. raquel @ Erecipe August 22, 2011 at 01:46 #

    oh this is good for parties and it looks good and tasty too.

  27. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 23, 2011 at 22:39 #

    This sounds fabulous… We get quite a few eggplants from our CSA, so I’ll certainly be giving this a try!

  28. The Mistress of Spices August 24, 2011 at 19:42 #

    This looks great! I can’t wait to actually start cooking from Dorie’s book and jumping into FFWD once we’re back in France (currently on vacation in the U.S.)…

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