What’s Chef David Kinch’s favorite way to cook eggplant? Charred on an open flame and spread over some toast with Jamon Iberico and a hint of tomato.
EGGPLANT CAVIAR TARTINE
1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon Piment d’Espelette
½ teaspoon sea salt
Juice of half a lime
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 baguette, sliced ½” thick
2 vine tomatoes
1/3 pound Jamon Iberico de Bellota, preferably hand sliced
- Roast the eggplant directly over an open medium flame until the skin is cracking and completely charred, about 10 minutes.
- Wrap the eggplant tightly in heavy-duty foil, as it rests it will continue to release steam and will soften and cook through while it cools.
- Once fully cooled, unwrap the eggplant and reserve the liquid that’s collected at the bottom of the foil. Carefully peel away all the charred skin and discard it. Remove the stem, cut the eggplant from top to bottom and gently split it open. Carefully remove the big packets of seeds, a few left behind is fine but be sure to get the major clumps. Use a spoon to gently scrape out the seeds and go back and cut out any sections you miss with a pairing knife.
- Once you have separated all the flesh from the skin and seeds, start to finely chop the flesh with a large, sharp chef’s knife. Use a rocking motion and be sure to go over each and every section as you don’t want to leave any stringy pieces behind.
- Place the chopped eggplant in a glass mixing bowl and pour in 2 or 3 tablespoons of the reserved smoky eggplant liquid. Gently stir in the yogurt, garlic, Piment d’Espelette, salt, lime juice, and olive oil. Check for seasoning and adjust with more salt or lime if needed.
- Toast the baguette slices in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes and then gently rub each piece of bread with a couple swipes of raw garlic.
- Slice the tomatoes in half and scrape out as many seeds as possible. Grate the flesh side of the tomato into the slices of crispy baguette and set them aside.
To Serve: Add a heaping tablespoon or two of eggplant caviar to each slice of bread and gently spread it corner to corner. Place tartines on a serving tray and top each one with 3 or 4 slices of Jamon Iberico.