Russian Eggplant Caviar (Баклажанная икра) is a delicious appetizer, generously served on a piece of bread. It’s made from 100% vegetables, without any fish or fish eggs, and isn’t what people think of when they hear the word caviar.
It’s kind of hard to screw up this recipe, as there are many variations. I prefer a hand chopped more rustic chunkier texture. Others like to throw it all into the food processor. Every babushka has their own recipe, usually dependant what you have growing in your garden. It’s ok to use more eggplants and peppers, or carrots to taste. You can even ‘can’ it to preserve it to enjoy in the winter months.
How to Eat Eggplant Caviar
Eggplant Caviar is often eaten as part of a Russian table of zakuski. It’s a Russian word meaning ‘little bites’ and is eaten along side many dishes on the table. Foods usually include dill pickles, Russian salads such as Olivye, caviar and salted fish, piroshki, eggs and meats. Zakuski are usually the first course when you have a feast. I love to eat this eggplant spread on a piece of Rye bread, like an open faced sandwich.
Many cultures around the world have versions of eggplant dips of spreads. The Greeks have Melitzanosalata, the Middle East has Baba Ghanoush, and Caviar d’aubergine is popular in Southern France. Russian Eggplant Caviar (Баклажанная икра) is my favourite!
A classic Russian eggplant spread made from aubergines, carrot, pepper and tomatoes, like Baba Ganoush but tastier in my opinion! Perfect on a piece of bread or on a sandwich – Baklazhannaya Ikra or Poor Man’s Caviar. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Russian Eggplant Caviar Spread (Баклажанная икра)
Russian Eggplant Caviar is a classic Russian spread made from eggplant (aubergines), carrot, peppers and tomatoes! Perfect on a piece of rye bread as an appetizer - (Баклажанная икра)
- 1 large eggplant or 2 small
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 small red pepper diced in small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tomatoes skinless, peeled and diced
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Dice the eggplant into small pieces. Add a generous teaspoon of salt to the diced and mix until the salt is mixed through. Allow to sit for about 30 mins. Squeeze out the excess bitter juices, drain and set aside.
To remove the skin from tomatoes, place in boiling water for about 60 seconds, remove into ice water then peel skin. If peeling tomatoes is too hard, you can substitute with a can of diced tomatoes
In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the onions and grated carrot until the onions are soft and the carrot is cooked. Add the diced red peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 7 minutes. (longer if using diced tomatoes to allow liquids to reduce)
Mix the minced garlic and chopped eggplant to vegetable mixture. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, allow to cool. Taste and add salt and pepper.