Smoky Eggplant Pepper Spread with Capers
One of the keys to simple, yet satisfying cooking is making the most out of a short list of ingredients. Here, the eggplant is charred over an open flame and then roasted until tender and creamy, creating a deep smoky flavor and silky texture in the finished spread. The other secret to this sumptuous spread is a splash of red wine vinegar and a couple spoonfuls of capers. The fruity acidity of the vinegar balances the sweetness of the eggplant, while the capers add a welcome briny boost. Serve with flatbread or grilled toasts.
Note: this recipe is part of our 5-ingredient summer wonders series. These recipes only require five ingredients or fewer—with the exception of EVOO, salt and pepper—and less than an hour of cooking time. Stay tuned all season long for more simple, satisfying recipes from our test kitchen!
Recipe, food styling and photography by Asha Loupy
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- 2 medium globe eggplants
- 8 tablespoons Italian extra virgin olive oil, such as Olio Verde, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar from Castello di Volpaia
- 4 tablespoons Crushed Pepper Composta from Masseria Mirogallo
- 2 tablespoons Marinated Capers in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Herbs from Caravaglio, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Tellicherry Peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
To char the eggplant on a gas stove, remove the grates from two burners, line the area around each burner with aluminum foil and place the grates back over the foil (this will make for easy clean up just in case the juices from the eggplant drip). Prick each eggplant a couple times and place one on each burner over high heat. Turn the eggplants ever 3–5 minutes, until they are almost fully charred on the outside, about 10–15 minutes total. Alternatively, the eggplants can be charred under the broiler, using the same timing as on the stovetop.
Transfer the charred eggplants to the reserved baking sheet. Drizzle the top of each eggplant with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, place in the oven and roast until meltingly tender, about 13–17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool about 15 minutes.
To make the spread, remove the stem and carefully peel the skin off both eggplants and place the peeled eggplant into a medium bowl, discarding the stems and skin. Using a fork, mash the eggplant until it has formed a rustic paste. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the pepper composta, red wine vinegar, one tablespoon of capers, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
To serve, transfer the eggplant pepper spread into a shallow serving bowl and garnish with the remaining tablespoon of capers. Serve at room temperature.