In most of the Middle East, this dish is called baba ganoush.  In France, it’s termed caviar d ‘aubergine.

While some prefer to add garlic, we find it overwhelms the mild eggplant taste a bit.

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 c. cilantro leaves
  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • Pepper and French sea salt
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pita bread, warmed

On an outside grill or directly over the flame of the gas stove, grill the eggplant on all sides. It will ooze some juice, shrink and look rather pitiful — don’t worry, that’s as it should be. Under running cold water, peel charred skin off. In the food processor, purée eggplant, onion, lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, cumin, pepper and salt.

Transfer purée to serving platter. If you’re going to serve it that day, it isn’t necessary to refrigerate the eggplant caviar — just cover with plastic wrap. Serve with lemon wedges and warm pita bread.

Makes 4 servings.