Eggplant and Black Olive Caviar

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As a part of my ongoing mission to make eggplants palatable to Z, I thought I would try something new and (I thought) delicious. Eggplants are in season right now, so what perfect time to make a yummy summertime dip with some of our favourite flavours, including garlic and black olives.

The results were mixed. Z did say that it was the best eggplant-based dish he’d had, and if he had to eat eggplant, he would rather it be this. That being said, he still didn’t really like it. I wonder if it’s because he KNEW it was eggplant, like if it’s a psychological thing? But then I’m not looking to trick Z into eating food he doesn’t want to. I do that enough with X. The other part of it is the texture issue. Even I will admit that eggplant has kind of an unappetizing texture. It’s just a little too squishy, you know. Even this dip was just a little too squishy.

I think I’m ready to accept defeat. If this won’t bring us around to eggplant, then probably nothing will. If you are one of those people who are totally into eggplant (I know you’re out there), then I would really recommend this dip. It’s so easy to whip up once you’ve roasted the eggplant, and I suspect that it’s fantastic. The original recipe came from The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from my Parisian Kitchen, by Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini fame. I made the changes shown here to add more olives, in the hopes that it would mask the taste of the eggplant! What I really like is how the garlic is roasted inside the eggplant – what a fantastic idea.

Eggplant Black Olive Caviar

Ingredients

1 large eggplant

2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers

20 Kalamata olives, pitted

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

fine sea salt

black pepper

hot sauce (I have an Egyptian spice blend I used instead of hot sauce, it really added something)

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Pierce several slits into the eggplant and slip the garlic slivers into the slits.

Turn oven to 200C. Place the whole eggplant on a lightly oiled baking sheet and insert into the oven. Roast the eggplant, flipping them halfway through, until it is completely soft, 45 minutes to an hour. Allow to cool completely. (You can roast the eggplant the day before, just put it in an airtight container and refrigerate.)

Halve the eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the flesh and garlic cloves with a spoon, scraping the skin to get as much flesh as possible. Put in blender.

Add the olives, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, a pinch of salt, a grind of black pepper and a dash of hot sauce. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

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