How to cook Aubergine
Aubergine is a deliciously versatile ingredient. Griddle it in slices for veggie ‘steaks’, roast whole until soft and creamy, or layer up in a classic moussaka. Aubergine works brilliantly with spices, absorbing lots of flavour. They are sometimes stuffed with other ingredients. The flesh of an aubergine quickly discolours once cut, so always prepare just before cooking. The spongy texture means that they are excellent for soaking up flavour – and also cooking oil, so be aware of this when frying!
WATCH: Baked aubergine parmigiana
WHAT ARE AUBERGINES?
Aubergines are part of the nightshade plant family, which includes tomatoes, chillies, peppers and potatoes. Although we call aubergines vegetables, they’re technically a fruit because they contain seeds. They come in lots of different colours – purple, green, pink-striped, and even orange. While some are long and slender, others, like the Thai green pea, are the size of a grape! In the United States, aubergines are called eggplants, and in West Africa they are sometimes called garden eggs: this is because some varieties are a pale yellow colour, similar to eggs.
WHEN ARE AUBERGINES IN SEASON?
Aubergines are particularly good over the later summer months. They are in season from May to October.
HOW TO STORE AUBERGINES
If you’re planning on cooking your aubergines within about 2 days of buying them, then they’ll be fine kept out on the counter. But if you’re not sure when you’re going to use them, pop them in the fridge when you get them home.
What are the health benefits?
One third of a medium-sized aubergine is one of your 5-a-day (one portion of veg or fruit is 80g raw weight).