Eggplant Ikra and Herring Salad

A silky texture adds to traditional flavors.

Welcome to our Tilt It Yourself series, where professional chefs use Electrolux Masterpiece Collection appliances with PowerTilt® Technology to develop unique dishes. Here, Chef Michael Laiskonis offers his take on eggplant puree. 

Standard pickled herring works well, but Chef Laiskonis especially likes using smoked herring in this dish.

Eggplant Ikra and Herring Salad

Servings: 6

Print

Ingredients

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings or julienne

6 pearl onions

2 tbsp. finely diced onion

1 clove garlic, peeled and halved

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

1 small eggplant

1½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon (about 1 tbsp. of juice)

12 marble potatoes, boiled and peeled

½ tsp. granulated sugar

¾ tsp. fine sea salt

5 whole black peppercorns

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. madras curry powder

½ c. grams rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

1 bay leaf

3 small sprigs of fresh dill

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

2 tsp. unsalted butter

½ c. crème fraîche or sour cream

¼ c. water

½ c. water or chicken stock

6 pickled, salt-cured, or smoked herring fillets

2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

1 slice dark rye bread, toasted and crushed

Electrolux Masterpiece Collection blender

Instructions

Pickled Red Onion

To lightly blanch the red onion, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil; remove from the heat and add the sliced red onions. Allow to stand for a few seconds and drain; transfer to a bowl of cold water to halt the cooking process and drain again.

Place the blanched red onion in a small jar or lidded container. Meanwhile, place ½ tsp. granulated sugar, ¾ tsp. fine sea salt, ¼ c. water, ½ c. vinegar, 1 clove garlic, 5 black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs of dill and ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Remove from the heat and add the water–vinegar mixture (along with all of the flavorings) into the container with the onions. Allow to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours (the pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or more).

Eggplant ‘Ikra’

Using a fork, prick holes in the eggplant at regular intervals and rub roughly half of the oil over the surface. Place on a lined sheet pan and roast in a preheated 350˚F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skin has blistered slightly and the flesh of the eggplant is very soft.

Remove the eggplant from the oven and cool. Carefully peel the skin and green stem from the eggplant. To reduce bitterness, squeeze and drain excess liquid from the flesh and discard any large pockets of seeds.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a small sauté pan and gently sweat the onion and garlic, along with the curry powder, cooking just until softened and fragrant. Remove from the heat and combine the eggplant, onion mixture, lemon juice and chopped parsley into the Electrolux Masterpiece Collection blender. Pulse until a barely smooth puree is formed.

Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and adjust the consistency with a bit more oil or lemon juice if desired. Refrigerate until assembly.

Charred Onion

Peel each pearl onion and slice in half crosswise. Begin to heat a heavy iron skillet or sauté pan and place each onion half, cut side down, onto the dry pan. Apply moderate pressure, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, allowing the onion to blacken. Remove from the heat and allow the onions to cool.

Trim the root or bulb ends from each onion half and place in a saucepan cut side up and gently simmer with ½ c. water or chicken stock until tender and the stock has reduced. Glaze with 2 tsp. unsalted butter and season with fine sea salt. Reserve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon Crème Fraîche

Whisk together the crème fraîche and juice and grated zest of ½ lemon, and reserve chilled until assembly.

Assembly

Arrange a herring fillet on each plate and lightly brush with vegetable oil or olive oil. Sprinkle each fillet with finely chopped fresh dill, crushed rye bread, and lemon juice and zest. Arrange a few of the drained slices of pickled onion around each fillet, followed by the charred onion, eggplant ikra, parsley leaves and additional dill. Serve alongside the lemon crème fraîche and warm boiled potato.

More Recipes

Eggplant Ikra Herring

Chef Frederic Monti

Meet Featured Chef Michael Laiskonis

Most recently, Chef Laiskonis received one of the most distinguished honors in the culinary field – Culinary Professional of the Year.