The day I shot these photos, the weather was errant and uncooperative. One minute bright sunlight was streaming through the windows, followed by a dim room the next minute when clouds suddenly covered the sun. And then strong gusts of wind blew in through the windows lifting all my garnish off from the plates and transporting them someplace else in the kitchen. As food bloggers, you and I know that good light and still air are our best friends on any photoshoot session but on the day I made this, the elements decided to "unfriend" me.
But like a foodie trooper, I plodded on and managed some decent pictures of this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Eggplant Caviar or caviar d’aubergine. It was another very easy summery recipe from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Around My French Table and a joy to make. Despite being called caviar, we thankfully didn't have to mess around with any fish like we did for last week's Salmon in a Jar. This 'caviar' is actually a glammed-up dip made from the flesh of roasted eggplants.
As simple as it was to prepare, I wondered why I'd never eaten this before. Or that maybe I had but didn't know what it was called or that it was made from eggplant. For the record, I did something unspeakable which I'm now going to confess to you....I told my food tasters the the dip was guacamole. Sacriligious, I know, but that lie resulted in them happily tucking into this. Amazing. You see, any time I utter the word 'eggplant' in this house, everyone would run a mile in the opposite direction. I love this purple vegetable a lot (the color probably has a lot to do with it) and often wonder why my eggplant-eating gene isn't shared by anyone else in my family.
Garlic slivers inserted before roasting
The eggplants I used were a mix of slender Asian ones and those round, purple ones (that's as scientific as I get, I'm afraid). I inserted thin slivers of garlic in a few of them as Dorie recommended to attain that depth of flavor. After scooping out the baked eggplant flesh, it was added to the fresh herbs - coriander/cilantro, basil and thyme - in a food processor because I wanted the dip to be smoother in texture. I also substituted the lemon zest and juice with that of lime.
Get that skillet smokin' HOT!
To accompany the dip, I made some whole wheat flatbreads using a 'roti' recipe containing sweet potato. As it turned out, I have one lone purple sweet potato left in my pantry so I used that, a perfect pairing (color-wise too) to the eggplant caviar. The flatbread recipe is a no-brainer, you just mash the boiled sweet potatoes with a little flour and water and hey presto! you have the dough. Then just cook it on a really hot skillet until it puffs up and chars like a tortilla.
So that's it. One more French Friday gone by just like that. This is my 15th recipe from AMFT (I've missed a few) since I joined and so far, I've had a ball! Hope the other Doristas feel the same way, won't you please shower them with some love too by visiting their links here?
It's Friday, and I know you've all got a foot in the weekend already. To celebrate the end of another week, enjoy Corinne Bailey Rae's music and go ahead, let your hair down!
Post Update: By popular demand (haha), I've decided to include the recipe for the flatbreads below.
Purple Sweet Potato Roti (Flatbreads)
Makes: Around 6-7 flatbreads
1 medium (200g) purple sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks.
1 cup whole wheat (atta) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder (optional)
1/2 cup water
1. Boil the sweet potatoes in a pot of water until soft. Drain off the water.
2. Mash hot potatoes in a food processor until mushy, or simply use a potato masher.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead into a soft pliable dough.
4. Divide dough into 6-7 small, golf-sized balls
5. Press each ball down with the palm of your hands and with a rolling pin, roll into thin flatbreads.
6. Cook with a little butter or olive oil on a hot skillet for about 1-2 minutes.
7. Flip it to the other side and press down on flatbread with a wooden spoon until it puffs up and chars a little, about 1 minute.
8. Serve hot or slightly cooled with a dip.