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2 Selected Recipes from Organic, Seasonal Cooking with Jean Luc Salles

Eggplant Caviar

  • 1 large globe eggplant
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • Balsamic or red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put the eggplant in a baking dish, season liberally with salt and pepper, and toss with a generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons water, cover tightly, and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until very soft.

While the eggplant is baking, peel and dice the shallots very fine. Let them macerate for about 10 minutes in about 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Peel and mash the garlic and add it to the shallots and vinegar. When the eggplant is done, add it to the shallot and garlic mixture, mashing with a fork, and let it cool to room temperature.

Stir in the chopped parsley or cilantro (or a combination of both) and adjust the seasoning. Add additional olive oil and vinegar to taste. Serve on grilled bread. Serves 4.

Riste Provençale

  • 1 lb eggplants
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme
  • Handful chopped basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the eggplants by slicing them with the skin on and sprinkling them with salt. Let them set for about one hour and then wipe them dry with a kitchen towel.

Heat a heavy frying pan, cover the base generously with olive oil and fry a few slices at a time, over medium to high heat, until they are soft and golden on both sides. As they are done, drain them on a plate, interlaying each layer with kitchen paper. Add more oil to the pan if necessary.

Return the fried eggplant slices to the pan, add the chopped tomatoes, pepper, garlic and thyme and cook gently for about 15 minutes until the mixture is soft and pulpy, stirring from time to time. Add the chopped basil, season with salt and serve right away. Serves 4.