Quinoa Caviar

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From the Vitality Food Feature ‘FUN HOLIDAY FLAVOURS‘.

From Steven Raichlen’s High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking (Penguin, New York, 1995)

The combination of the tangy taste of the classic “eggplant caviar” dip with the texture of quinoa whispers hints of luxurious real caviar, with no fish eggs. (Makes 4-1/2 cups.)


  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups salted water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Prick the eggplant in several spots with a fork. Roast the eggplant on a rimmed non-stick baking sheet for 40 minutes, or until soft. Let eggplant cool.

2) Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and lightly toast it for one minute. Stir in 2 cups water, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and gently simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a mixing bowl and let cool.

3) Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scrape out the flesh, taking care not to pierce the eggplant skin. Place the flesh in a food processor with the garlic, cilantro, parsley, tamari and lemon juice. Puree to a smooth paste. Stir the eggplant mixture into the cooked quinoa. Correct the seasoning, adding tamari, pepper or lemon juice to taste. Spoon the caviar back into the eggplant skins (or into attractive serving bowl) and serve with pita chips or rice crackers.

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