Ways With Aubergines
Although available all year round, Aubergine's are at their best – and cheapest – from July to September. Aubergines feature in cuisines all around the world, most famously in Mediterranean dishes. Perfect for all diets, including vegan and vegetarian, this vegetable is versatile and can be used in many dishes. Take a look at a few of our favourite Aubergine dishes for you to try this summer.
SATAY AUBERGINE SKEWERS
1 large aubergine, cut in half crosswise, then cut into 2cm batons
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, plus an extra splash
250ml coconut cream
4 tbsp peanut butter
1 garlic clove, grated
small knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 lime, juiced
large pinch of chilli flakes
handful of coriander leaves
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Tip the aubergine batons into a roasting tin and toss with the sesame oil and soy, then spread out in a single layer. Roast for 20 mins until soft.
Meanwhile, make the satay sauce. Heat the coconut cream and peanut butter together in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and bubble for 5 mins until thickened. Season with a splash of soy sauce and the lime juice to taste. Set aside. You will make more sauce than you need. The satay sauce will keep, covered and chilled, for up to three days. Reheat until piping hot.
Skewer the cooked aubergine on cocktail sticks and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle over the satay sauce and scatter with chilli flakes and coriander. Alternatively, serve the sauce on the side for dipping.
2 medium aubergines
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely grated
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
2 tbsp tahini
1 large lemon, juiced
handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped, to serve (optional)
flatbreads or pittas and vegetable crudités, to serve
Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score a diamond pattern into the flesh using a small, sharp knife, then brush over some of the oil and season with salt.Pierce the skin in a few places with a sharp knife before grilling. Roast the aubergines, cut-side down, on a baking tray for 20-25 mins until charred and collapsed. Leave to cool.
Scoop out the cooled aubergine flesh into the bowl of a food processor, then add the garlic, cumin seeds, tahini and lemon juice. Season well, then blitz to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in all but 1 tsp of the remaining oil until thick and smooth. Season to taste. Spoon into a dish, drizzle with the reserved oil, scatter with the parsley, if using, and serve with flatbreads, pittas or vegetable crudités for dunking.
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 thyme sprigs
8 large sage leaves, finely chopped
4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tsp golden caster or granulated sugar
6 large aubergines, sliced lengthways as thinly as you can
100g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated
85g white breadcrumb
50g pine nut
2 x 125g balls vegetarian mozzarella cheese, torn into small chunks
handful basil leaves
Heat the oil in a large frying pan (or wide saucepan), add the garlic, thyme and sage, and cook gently for a few mins. Tip in the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar, and gently simmer for 20-25 mins until thickened a little.
SMOKY AUBERGINE DAAL
1 fresh red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
2 black or green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 small sprig of rosemary
red wine vinegar
1 x 400 g tin of black beans
200 g dried Puy lentils
1 cinnamon stick
Prick the aubergine, then lightly blacken it directly over a flame on the hob or in a hot griddle pan, turning with tongs. Remove to a board.
Halve the chilli lengthways and deseed, peel and finely slice the garlic, then peel and finely chop the onion. Crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and remove the outer shells, then pound up the seeds.
Place a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan on a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the cumin, mustard and cardamom seeds. Strip in the rosemary and let it gently sizzle for a few minutes, infusing the oil and allowing the flavours to mingle. Add the chilli, garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
Chop the aubergine into 3cm chunks and stir into the pan, then add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Let it sizzle for a couple of minutes, then pour in the beans, juice and all, the lentils and 600ml of water. Set fire to the cinnamon stick, then sit it in the centre of the pan. Cover the daal and leave to thicken on a medium-low heat for 1 hour, loosening with splashes of water, if needed, and stirring occasionally. Season to perfection, tasting and tweaking.