This eggplant caviar is a Russian-inspired dip or spread that's incredibly flavorful, and made from wholesome ingredients including lots of vegetables. Vegan, gluten-free, and delicious served either hot or cold.
Since going vegan, I've recreated many of my favorite Russian recipes, some of which proved a bit of a challenge. For instance, I've made vegan piroshki (pastries) with cheese and dill, as well as a gluten-free version of pelmeni, which are typically made with lots of animal products.
But a lot of dishes that I ate in my childhood and that are popular in Russia are either vegan or vegetarian in their original form. And that makes life much easier! Now, all I have to do is recreate the original recipe, and share it on here. Eggplant caviar is a great example of such a dish.
What is eggplant caviar?
Eggplant caviar is an amazing dip or spread that's made out of eggplant/aubergine, other vegetables, olive oil and a few simple spices. As I mentioned, it's incredibly popular in Russia, where I grew up, and other Eastern European countries. It's very rare to go to a special occasion at a Russian household where this dip isn't present!
It's a very light and simple dish, given that it's mostly made out of vegetables. Different households make different versions of it, but the base tends to be very similar. The seasonings and add-ins can then be adjusted in accordance with personal preference.
How to make eggplant caviar
Start by heating some olive oil in a large pan. Use a very large pan for this to avoid overcrowding, or work in batches if you want to make a larger amount.
Now, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant over a medium heat, for around 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, carrots, aubergines, zucchini, paprika, sugar and salt. Continue cooking for a further 10-15 minutes, until fully softened.
Transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor and blend on a low speed, until around ¾ of the vegetables had been blended. Serve immediately while warm, or leave to chill in the fridge.
Eggplant caviar often makes an appearance at party tables and gatherings as a dip that always proves popular even with picky eaters. I love serving it as a dip for crackers/breadsticks, or spread on toast together with some vegan cream cheese.
You can also serve this vegetable dip with crispy roasted potatoes, sweet potato wedges, or zucchini fries. You can also serve it as a spread in wraps and sandwiches, or even black bean burgers.
To store in the fridge, transfer to airtight jars and store for up to a week. This eggplant caviar is also freezer-friendly and can be frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat in the frying pan from frozen when ready to serve.
Other vegan dip and spread recipes
- Pkhali is a Georgian dip made from spinach and walnuts.
- My spinach and artichoke dip is cosy and flavorful.
- Pea and avocado pesto is super versatile!
- You just can't go wrong with homemade vegan sour cream.
- Chunky guacamole is perfect for any occasion.
If you give this eggplant caviar a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies), and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating - I love hearing from you!
- Frying pan
- Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Now, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant over a medium heat, for around 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, carrots, aubergines, zucchini, paprika, sugar and salt. Continue cooking for a further 10-15 minutes, until fully softened.
- Transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor and blend on a low speed, until around ¾ of the vegetables had been blended.
- Serve immediately while warm, or leave to chill in the fridge.