1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill 2 to 4 hours before serving. Makes 8 to 10 cups.


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Eggplant "caviar"

Serve the eggplant mixture with toasted pita chips. You can make the chips and the eggplant mixture ahead. Chill the eggplant but bring to room temperature before serving.

When choosing eggplant, make sure stem end is green and fresh-looking, and that the eggplant itself is firm to the touch, deep purple in color, shiny and has no dings.

Pita chips

6 (6-inch) pitas

Cooking spray

3/4 teaspoon salt

Eggplant

About 2 1/4 pounds eggplant, cut in half lengthwise

3 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus whole sprigs, for garnish

7 teaspoons minced shallots

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons small capers, drained

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper