Aubergines, along with tomatoes, peppers and
potatoes belong to the solanaceae family. Although they have been
popular in Mediterranean and Middle East countries for centuries,
where there are said to be over 100 ways of cooking them, they
have only recently become known in Britain.
Salting used to be recommended to reduce
bitterness but today's varieties are rarely bitter. However,
salting does draw out moisture and reduce the amount of oil
soaked up during cooking. To salt, place the slices (approx 1cm
thick) or segments in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to
drain for an hour. Gently squeeze out the moisture, rinse well
and pat dry before using. Aubergines will keep well in the salad
drawer of the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but are best used when
'Green Cuisine' gives recipes for Aubergine
Souffle, Aubergine & Tomato Tart and Aubergine & Tomato
Pasta Sauce. Aubergine slices can be fried in olive oil, either
as they are, or coated in batter. They are served as a starter in
some Mediterranean countries. For Moussaka and other dishes where
aubergines are layered with other vegetables, first fry the
slices lightly in oil to give them a tasty crust, whilst the
inside remains soft.
- 1 large aubergine, peeled and chopped
- 2 tblsp oil
- One-quarter cup tahini
- 2 tblsp lemon juice
Place aubergine on wire rack, sprinkle with
salt. Stand for 20 mins. Rinse under cold water and drain on
Heat oil in medium saucepan, add aubergine and
garlic, stir over low heat for about 10 mins (or in microwave on
High for about 6 mins) until tender.
Blend or process aubergine mixture, tahini and
juice until smooth. Serve sprinkled with paprika. May be used as
a dip with crisp vegetable sticks or pitta bread, etc.
Cut a large one in half lengthways and scoop
out the flesh, leaving a half-inch 'shell' and chop the flesh
roughly. Sauté some onion, then add the chopped aubergine
and cook until the onion is transparent. Then add some crushed
garlic, chopped mushrooms, pieces of tofu*/quorn (if desired) and
pine nuts and cook for approx. 40 mins. Serves 2 people. The
stuffing mix can be improvised upon, so use your imagination!
* If buying tofu try to obtain organic,
otherwise ensure than it's not made from GM soya.
Aubergine au Gratin
- 1 Aubergine
- Thyme (fresh if possible)
- Half a cucumber
- 1 - 2 tbspns oil
- 4oz mushrooms
- 1 medium onion
- 3 heaped tbspns soft breadcrumbs
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 clove garlic
- salt & pepper
Slice onion, dice cucumber, mushrooms and
aubergine. Fry onion lightly, add aubergine. Remove from heat and
stir in mushrooms, cucumber, thyme and seasoning. Put the mixture
in an oiled ovenproof dishes and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs,
seasoned and mixed with the crushed garlic. Arrange tomato slices
on top, sprinkle with more oil and bake for 45 to 50 mins at gas
mark 6 (400F, 200C).
The perfect way to use and blend those
Mediterranean summer vegetables, aubergines, peppers courgettes
and tomatoes, onions and garlic. Instead of making it in a big
pan on the hob, try cooking it in a baking dish in the oven (an
Aga is ideal, of course). Roughly chop up the tomatoes,
aubergines, courgettes and peppers, but omit onions. You needn't
even skin the tomatoes, unless you prefer to. Mix the chopped
vegetables up and place in an ovenproof dish. Dribble a generous
amount of good quality olive oil over the lot, add chopped garlic
cloves, and bake until the vegetables are soft. It is not as
"sloppy" as it can be using the hob top method, when cooked this
Aubergine Salad (Serves 4)
This dish has a distinctive Mediterranean
flavour about it. Preparation time 15 mins plus 1 hour to stand
and 5 hours to cool and refrigerate. Cooking time: 30 mins. Oven:
Preheat to 200C (400F, gas mark 6).
- About 1lb 4 oz (550g) of aubergines
- 1 level tbspn chopped fresh parsley
- Half a level tspn salt (optional)
- 1 level tbspn chopped fresh coriander
- 8 oz (225g) ripe tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6 tbspn water
- 2 tbspn virgin olive oil
- Sprigs of fresh coriander to garnish
Slice the aubergines thinly from the tip
towards the stalk leaving the slices joined at the stalk end.
Leave the stalk in place but trim it of any prickly bristles.
Alternatively, with larger aubergines, slice them into
If desired, put the aubergines into a wide
dish, sprinkle with the salt and leave for 1 hour for the bitter
juice to be drawn out. This is not always necessary with fresh,
Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes with the garlic,
parsley and coriander.
Rinse the aubergines well with cold water and
pat dry with kitchen paper (if previously salted). Arrange them
together in an ovenproof dish and spread a little of the tomato
mixture between the slices. Pour in the water and season with
pepper. Trickle the oil over the aubergines, cover and cook in
the oven for 30 mins or until soft, basting occasionally.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool and
refrigerate for 4 hours while the flavour develops. Serve
garnished with the coriander.
[ Top of page ]