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Poor Man's Caviar: Eggplant Spread

This appetizer is rich without breaking the bank. To ritz up your menu even more, add mixed olives and selections of Italian sheep's milk cheeses as accompaniments. When you roast eggplant whole in the oven, it takes on a smoky flavor that adds depth to eggplant spreads and salads. –RR

For a complete meal, serve with Tuscan Chicken, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Salad for Ten in Two.


  • 1 medium size firm eggplant

  • 1 clove garlic, cracked away from the skin

  • 2 pinches ground allspice

  • Coarse salt and black pepper

  • A handful of flat leaf parsley tops

  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 whole grain baguette or other long crusty bread, sliced at bread counter


Pre-heat the oven to highest setting, at least 500ºF.

Cut two or three slits into whole eggplant. Place eggplant directly on the oven rack in the middle of the oven and roast it until it is tender, about 20 minutes. Keep the slits facing up so that the eggplant does not lose liquids as it roasts.

The roasted eggplant will look like a flat tire when you remove it from the oven. Using a sharp utility knife, carefully peel skin away from eggplant flesh. Add cooked eggplant flesh and juice to food processor and combine with garlic, allspice, salt, pepper and parsley. Pulse grind the eggplant into a paste, then add a drizzle of olive oil. Transfer to a serving dish. The seeds of the eggplant will make the spread resemble caviar eggs, hence the name Poor Man's Caviar.

To serve, surround a bowlful of spread with crusty bread rounds.

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