Here are some aubergine recipes I posted on my previous blog from January 2010 till February 2015.
A summer treat: Parmigiana
A summer treat: Parmigiana
It was such a temptation to see shiny plump purple aubergines displayed in the vegetable section of the supermarket. I couldn’t help buying a few. I remembered some dishes my mother used to cook: parmigiana, aubergines and mozzarella, caponata, grilled aubergines...I decided to experiment with all of them on a Thursday, our vegetarian day. Besides, aubergines are one of the few kinds of vegetable my husband enjoys. The others are lettuce, tomatoes, artichokes sometimes. That’s it.
Aubergines need preparation. The orthodox way is to let them drain for at least one hour after cutting them in slices or in cubes, so they lose their slightly bitter liquid. But if you are in a hurry, often the case with me, just use them as they are.
For parmigiana you need two big aubergines, two to three eggs, olive oil, grated mozzarella, tomato sauce (a simple one made with tomato passata, olive oil, a clove of garlic, salt and two or three leaves of fresh basil) and parmigiano.
Peel and slice the aubergines and let them drain. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a bit of salt, dip the aubergines in the egg and fry them in olive oil. Alternatively you can coat them in flour before dipping them in the egg. When they are ready set them on a plate. Pour a little olive oil in a rectangular oven-proof dish and start with a first layer of aubergines, then some tomato sauce, plenty of parmigiano and mozzarella. It’s a bit like lasagne, but using aubergines instead of pasta. You need to have between two and four layers of each component. Finish with the tomato sauce, parmigiano and mozzarella. Cook in the oven for twenty minutes at 150° C.
My husband loved it.
Aubergines and Mozzarella
The following Thursday, our vegetarian day, I tried another of my mum’s recipes: Aubergines and Mozzarella.
I peeled and cut in slices two aubergines, dipped them in beaten egg with salt and fried them in olive oil, the same procedure I described in parmigiana. At this point I took a big piece of mozzarella and cut it in cubes of about an inch. I put one cube on each slice of aubergine, rolled them up and secured them with cocktail sticks.
When I had filled an oven-proof dish, I cooked it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 150° C.
It was fantastic. My husband suggested we have more vegetarian days in our week.
My next resource from the aubergine dishes I knew was Caponata. My mother used to make it in summer time: a typical, unforgettable taste.
Caponata is a popular dish, originally from Sicily. Recipes in magazines and on websites recommend adding celery, pine nuts, raisins and capers. You are free to use some or all of these ingredients, but here is my mother’s recipe: simple and tasty.
You need: olive oil, one aubergine, four big tomatoes, one pepper, two big potatoes, a clove of garlic, some drops of balsamic vinegar, parsley, ten black and ten green pitted olives, salt and pepper.
Peel and chop the potatoes and the tomatoes (to peel them easily put them in hot water for a few minutes), chop the aubergine without peeling it. Cook them separately in olive oil – or cook first the potatoes and, when they are ready, add the aubergine and tomatoes.
When all the vegetables are ready mix them together and add a peeled clove of garlic, vinegar, olives, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for twenty minutes. You can serve it warm or cold.
Rice with Aubergines
The last aubergine dish on my list is a flavoursome way to season rice or pasta (penne or fusilli is ideal).
For four people you need: one aubergine, four big tomatoes, olive oil, a clove of garlic, half a glass of white wine, fresh basil, salt and pepper.
Put the tomatoes in hot water and leave them for a few minutes. Let them cool, then peel them and remove the seeds as well. Cut the flesh into little pieces and cook them with olive oil, basil and garlic in a pan. Chop the aubergine without peeling it and add it to the tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and basil. Let it simmer for a while then add the wine and let it simmer till the vegetables are ready. If it dries too much add some of the water you use to cook your rice or pasta.
Season pasta or rice with the aubergine sauce and add parmigiano if you wish. Enjoy!
Another aubergine dish I remember is a simple and healthy one.
You need: one big aubergine, two cloves of garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh parsley and salt.
Slice the aubergine without peeling it. Grill it on a tray or parcook it lightly in a dry frying pan. Spread out the slices and sprinkle on a bit of salt, oil and vinegar. Chop the parsley and garlic and add them as well. Let it marinate for 2-4 hours before serving.
It’s an ideal appetizer or side dish.