In France, anytime friends or family get together to share a meal it is a social occasion. An alcoholic drink called an “apéritif”, or “apéro” as we like to call it in slang, is often served before the meal so we can prolong the pleasure of chatting. Little finger foods accompany these drinks to help stimulate our appetites. On formal occasions the food might be elaborate hors d’oeuvres but usually simple things like olives, dry salami, nuts or chips suffice. Over the past decade there has been a fun new trend to make entire meals out of hors d’oeuvres which is called the “aperitif dinatoire”. Eggplant Caviar is an extremely easy and popular appetizer that can be served for any occasion.
1 garlic clove
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 dash of olive oil
Pinch of salt
(possible garnishes: fresh thyme, parsley, basil, ground chili pepper, olive oil)
DIRECTIONS: Broil the entire eggplant until cooked, turning once. When cool enough to touch, scoop the pulp into a food processer with the other ingredients. Blend until the consistency is fairly even with a bit of texture. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, and your herbs of choice. Serve with bread or crackers. (We like baguette or pita.)