~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, September 5, 2011

Aubergine Caviar...Roasted Eggplant Dip (Gordon Ramsay)

Aubergine Caviar... Roasted Eggplant Dip (Gordon Ramsay). Summer is quickly passing by and the cooler weather is upon us. We have now slowly taken out our lighter jackets, the heavier blankets, and using the oven more. I've had quite a variety of herbs growing in my garden this summer. Some of the herbs I ended up drying for the winter... but I've also used some of it fresh in a variety of dishes. I made this dish awhile back and thought it best to post it sooner than later:).
I came upon this recipe about a year or two ago and just haven't had the chance to make it. I guess it's just easier for me to make the Romanian roasted eggplant dip. But since I had quite a bit of fresh herbs, I decided to finally try Gordon Ramsay's version...the Aubergine Caviar.
The dish is quite simple to prepare, and even though the recipe uses the oven to roast the eggplants, I am sure this can be done on the grill as well. You want to cook the eggplant until the flesh is nice and soft...
The "caviar" name comes from all the little seeds found in the flesh....but it's more like a poor man's "caviar" without the fishy taste:). While the eggplant dip is great on toast or as a canape, it's just as great used as a dip with crudites. I would even smear it on bread and top it with some minced onion...or use it instead of mayonnaise when making sandwiches. While the dip can be served warm, it can be made ahead and served cold or at room temperature. A great vegetarian dish that's perfect for the late summer months. Hope you enjoy...

Tip: You can add some minced raw onion( if you want, you can pour hot water over the chopped onion and strain,...just to take the "bite" out of the onion), and mix it in at the end. I ended up doing that with half of it(couldn't stay away from the Romanian version:))... and loved it.

You will need: adapted from Gordon Ramsay

2 medium eggplants(aubergines)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into halves
salt, to taste( regular recipe uses 2 TBS rock salt)
Few sprigs of thyme and rosemary

Add in:
Olive oil, to drizzle
150ml sour cream, or to taste
ground black pepper
small bunch of coriander, leaves chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Slice the eggplants/aubergines in two... lengthwise. Score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern. Rub the garlic halves over the scored sides of the eggplants and then slice the garlic halves and insert them in the scored sides of the eggplant along with the rosemary leaves and sprigs of thyme.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Sandwich the eggplant/aubergines halves together. Wrap tightly in foil and twist ends. Repeat with the other two halves. Place on a roasting tray and bake for 40 minutes or until soft inside and cooked thoroughly(mine took a bit more than the 40 minutes). You can likewise do this on the grill...turning the eggplants halfway through the cooking time...it might not need all 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

3. Remove the foil from the eggplants/aubergines, discard the herbs and scrape the flesh and garlic on to a chopping board. Be careful, as the aubergines will still be steaming hot. Chop to a paste... as coarse or fine as you like.

4. Heat a saucepan with a little olive oil and add the aubergine paste. Cook over high heat ... stirring frequently, until the juices have evaporated and the pulp is thick. This will also help to intensify the flavour of the aubergines.

5. Stir in the coriander/cilantro and sour cream. Season to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon, spoon into a dipping bowl and serve with bread, crackers, crudites, etc.


Mihaela said...

Hi Ellie, this version of the eggplant spread sounds good too, I like the cilantro in there! I will give it a try. But I do think that Gordon Ramsay didn't taste a good "salata de vinete romaneasca" with grilled eggplant on an open fire and homemade mayo, it's the best :)

Ellie said...

Mihaela, Yes, Salata De Vinete is a favorite...grilling the eggplant gives the dip so much flavor. But this version, was a nice change... the herbs and sour cream make it quite different than the Romanian version... different but good:).

Susy said...

We do eat a dip that is called Mutabbal. Its based on Eggplant. I dont know if you have tried it but its great! just the sister of hummus! I am originally from Lebanon so you might know how much I love them haha!! They have the same look but the mutabbal is way easier. I must try yours anytime soon!

Ellie said...

Susy, Is mutabbal the same as baba ganoush? As I've had baba ganoush many times...and it is delicious! I'm thinking mutabbal is similar,no? Maybe proportions of tahini to eggplant might differ a bit. But both hummus and baba ganoush are a favorite...and Lebanese food is so,so delicious:)!