Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Caviar d'Aubergine (eggplant puree)

Several years ago, it was in November as I recall, I was standing in line at Marseille Provence airport to check in for an Air France flight to Paris. As luck would have it, Air France pilots were on strike that day over proposed changes to pensions (have you heard this before) and most flights had been cancelled.

While standing in line, I chatted with a nice couple who I found out lived in Villedieu, one of our favorite villages in the Vaucluse. Bruce and Christine were booked on my same flights as they were headed to San Francisco to see family.

After first telling them they would have to wait till the next day when flights were supposed to resume, they booked Bruce and Christine on a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt and then on to San Francisco. They did the same for me which gave us a chance to get acquainted.

Before we parted company in San Francisco, we agreed we would stay in touch and meet for dinner at Maison Bleue in Villedieu when we returned to Sablet in the spring. The following April when I got back to Sablet, one of the first things I did was call Bruce and we made plans to meet for dinner.

Bruce suggested we meet at their house for aperitifs before going to dinner at Maison Bleue, a wonderful pizzeria in Villedieu. Villedieu is about 15 minutes by car from from Sablet. I arrived and was welcomed into their charming home, a short walk from the center of the village.

Along with some wine from the area, there was a dish of what Bruce called caviar d'aubergine and plate of toasts. This was his delicious creation and he generously shared the recipe with me. The recipe is easy and I have made it many times since.

If you want a tasty hors d'oeuve, here is a great one from Provence. Start with 3 medium eggplants; split them in half. Do not peel them.

Score the eggplants as shown here.

Brush them with olive oil.

Roast the eggplants on a baking sheet in the oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius until they are nicely golden on top. I turn the baking pan around every 15 minutes to compensate for hot and cold spots in the oven so the eggplants roast evenly.

When the eggplant has cooled, scoop the roasted flesh of the eggplant into a blender or food processor.

Add all the remaining ingredients (tomato paste, crushed garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt) to the roasted eggplant in the blender and pulse till smooth. The ingredients are listed at the end of this post.

Serve with toasts.


3 medium eggplants
2/3 of a 6 oz can tomato paste
3 cloves crushed garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar

Thank you Bruce and Christine for your friendship and for sharing your recipe. I have made a couple of minor modifications to suit my taste but we think of you each time we enjoy your tasty creation.

The pictures were taken in the kitchen at our home in Sablet.


  1. That looks delicious! I'm saving this recipe :-)

  2. Yum, I love caviar d'aubergines! (But then I love eggplant in all its forms.)

  3. Sara Louise - Everyone who has tried it has loved it. Easy to fix for l'apéro.

    Croquecamille - Me too!

  4. Royalty invoice in the mail :-) Sometimes rather than bake the eggplant I peel and fry in a sauce pan with lots of olive oil until the surfaces are brown. This gives a lot more caramelized surfaces. When I do it this way I do not add any oil to the blender as eggplant is like a sponge with oil.

    // Bruce