Poor Man’s Caviar

Serve this as a first course with hot brown toast and a few slices of thinly cut tomato. Caviar it ain’t but it is extremely delicious, and of course a lot cheaper.


  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • paprika
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped or grated


When buying aubergines make sure they are firm, unbruised and shiny, and not from Holland. Put them on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 until they are really soft, about 45 minutes. Pierce with a skewer to make sure. When cool enough to handle, peel them. Mash the flesh in a bowl or food processor until you have produced a totally smooth paste. Mix in the lemon juice and the olive oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper and about ½ tsp paprika depending on whether you are using the hot or the sweet variety. Combine thoroughly with the onion. Place in a nice earthenware bowl, cover with cling film (to avoid stinking out the refrigerator with onion) and chill until very cold.