Valérie Rousselle knows a thing or two about entertaining. A Saint-Tropez native and the proprietor of Château Roubine, a Cru Classé winery in the Côtes de Provence, she studied hospitality at the famed Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland before becoming the steward of a historic vineyard that once belonged to the Order of the Knights of the Templar.
In the autumn, once the grapes have been harvested and the chilling winds of the mistral wind blow down from Rhône River, Valérie invites friends to the winery to welcome the new season with a glass of her Prestige rosé and a dish of eggplant “caviar” served warm.
We love her eggplant “caviar” for the alluring smoky flavor taken on by the eggplants when roasted directly on the stovetop, and because it can be made in the time it takes to put some olives in a bowl and pull the cork from the bottle. The Château Roubine rosé is a beautifully textured blend of mourvèdre and syrah with a pale salmon hue and aromas of flowers and spice.
- 2 Japanese eggplant
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Blister the eggplants directly on stovetop flame (as if you are roasting a pepper), turning them regularly until their skins are entirely charred and black. Set the roasted eggplants aside to cool for two minutes, then slice the eggplants in half and scoop the soft flesh into a medium-sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and puree with an immersion blender. Alternatively, transfer the entire mixture to the jar of a traditional blender and puree for 30-60 seconds, until the mixture is creamy.
Serve warm with thick slices of toasted baguette and your favorite Provencal rosé.