Eggplant Caviar (Ikra)

ikra

In this Eggplant Ikra, braised vegetables are combined together for a traditional Russian staple.

Ingredients
2 medium-sized eggplants (or 10 mini ones)
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
1 large green bell pepper
1 cup canned unsalted tomatoes, pureed
4½ tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
1. Chop carrots, bell peppers, eggplants, onion, and parsley.


2. Heat a large deep pan over medium-high heat. Add in ½ tablespoon grapeseed oil. Add in carrots and saute them until soft (about 6 minutes). Remember to stir to keep the vegetables from burning. Transfer carrots to a large bowl.

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3. Into the same skillet, add ½ tablespoon grapeseed oil. Add in onions and saute them until translucent (about 6 minutes). Transfer onions to the bowl with carrots.

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4. Into the same skillet, add ½ tablespoon grapeseed oil. Add in green bell pepper and saute until soft (about 8 minutes). Also transfer the bell peppers to the bowl with carrots and onions.

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5. Add 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil and add eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft (about 9 minutes).

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6. Add the sauted carrots, onions, and bell pepper to the skillet with the eggplant. Season with 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste). Add pureed tomatoes to the pan, mix and heat uncovered for about 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Sprinkle with parsley.


7. Serve warm or chilled. Personally, I like this ikra after it has been refrigerated overnight.

*If you would like to add some heat to this ikra, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a thinly diced fresh jalapeno.

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