Last week, I decided to to clean up my vegetable patch. As I moved away the butternut leaves that had engulfed a large section of the garden, I spotted a few remaining eggplant globes hanging perilously from their drooping stalks, waiting to be picked. I always feel a pang of sadness when a few remaining vegetables are discovered, as it means that another season has come to an end.
Having had a fruitful summer of unlimited eggplant and having made my share of ratatouille, moussaka, babaganoush and veggie stacks, I thought it would be fun to branch out into something a little Asian. I remember, a number of years back, having made an eggplant caviar so, with that in mind, I did a little experimentation and created this Asian Eggplant caviar. The far East flavours of ginger, garlic, cilantro and soya sauce gave this dip some light and tasty flavour notes. I also was happy to use up my pita bread that I lightly toasted in the oven and served with the dip.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ chili, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoon soya sauce
- ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Place full eggplant globes on a baking tray and bake in a 200C(400F) oven for 20-30 minutes or until the eggplant is shriveled, resembling a large prune.
- Once cool, slice lengthwise and scape out eggplant meat into a bowl. Compost the skins or give to your chickens!
- In a medium frying pan, sauté onions over medium heat until softened.
- Add garlic, ginger and chili to mixture and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes
- Stir in soya sauce, vinegar oil and brown sugar to the mixture.
- Bring to a boil then blend in eggplant, making sure to break up any remaining strips of eggplant pieces.
- Remove from heat. Once cool, stir in chopped cilantro.
- This dip is best served cool with vegetables and/or pita pieces.