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Cooking with Aubergine

Cooking with Aubergine

Issue 78 March 2011

Commonly found in Middle Eastern and Asian kitchens, the aubergine or eggplant is a familiar favourite across the world. It is a vegetable with a multitude of names and various uses.

Fatema Zehra brings you just a few recipes to incorporate the regal purple vegetable into your meal.


Mediterranean aubergine tart

500g puff pastry
4tbsp green basil pesto
1 red onion, sliced into strips
175g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
125g cherry tomatoes
1 courgette, sliced
½ aubergine, sliced

Roll out the pastry into a circle and place on a flat baking sheet. Using a knife, score a 3cm border.
Spread the pesto over the inner rectangle, and then scatter the onion, tomatoes and sliced vegetables on top of the pesto. Leave the border clear to allow it to rise and form a crust.
Coat the border with egg yolk.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 200°C until the crust is well-risen, crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

Griddled aubergine with fennel, shallot chutney and coriander pesto


For the griddled aubergine
1 aubergine, cut diagonally into 1cm slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
For the chutney
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
½ fennel bulb, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 lemon, juice only
For the coriander pesto
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
50ml olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the griddled aubergine, place a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking. Place the aubergine, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl, mix and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the aubergine slices onto the griddle pan and char grill for three minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.
To make the chutney, heat the oil in a medium frying pan. Add the garlic, shallot and fennel and gently fry for five minutes until soft and golden.
Add the tomato purée and lemon juice and cook for a further two minutes.
To make the coriander pesto, place the herbs and oil in a food processor, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend to a smooth paste.
To serve, place the grilled aubergine in the centre of a warm plate. Spoon over the chutney and drizzle with the coriander pesto.

Aubergine and tomato tower with pesto

For the aubergine and tomato tower
2 tbsp olive oil
1 aubergine, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
For the minted yoghurt
8 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
12 fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto
3 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed

For the aubergine and tomato tower, slice the aubergine and tomato into three slices, each 2cm wide.
Rub the oil into the aubergine slices on both sides. Heat a chargrill pan and cook the aubergine slices for 2-3 minutes on both sides.
For the minted yoghurt, combine all of the yoghurt ingredients in a bowl. For the pesto, place all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Lay one slice of aubergine on a serving plate and top with a slice of tomato. In between, layer minted yoghurt and pesto. Repeat with the remaining aubergine and tomato until you have a tower.
To serve, spoon some of the minted yoghurt over the top of the aubergine and tomato tower and drizzle the pesto around the edges of the plate.


Pasta with aubergines, tomatoes, chilli and parmesan cheese


2 large aubergines
500g small tomatoes
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 tsp salt
400g pasta shapes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon crushed dried chillies
Large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
100g parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut off the tops and bases of each aubergine and cut across into two. Cut each piece lengthways into sticks.
Place into a colander and sprinkle them with one teaspoon of salt. Place the colander over a bowl and leave the aubergines for 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, if using fresh tomatoes, squeeze the tomatoes over the sink to get rid of most of their juices. Discard the seeds and juice.
Coarsely chop the tomatoes and set aside for use later.
Pat the aubergines dry with kitchen paper to remove the salt and any excess juices.
Heat four tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add half the aubergine pieces and fry, turning occasionally, until golden-brown all over.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. Add the remaining aubergine pieces and fry and drain as before.
Remove the pan from the heat to allow the oil remaining in the frying pan to cool.
Place 4.5 litres of water into a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the salt, then the pasta and cook according to packet instructions, or until al dente.
Shortly before the spaghetti is ready, add the remaining olive oil and the garlic to the frying pan and return it to the heat.
As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the crushed chillies and the tomatoes and cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down.
Add the aubergines and season to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drain the cooked spaghetti and add to the sauce. Add the basil and half of the parmesan and mix well.
To serve, spoon equal portions of the spaghetti and sauce into four warmed bowls and sprinkle each with the remaining cheese.

Baked aubergine with tomato, mozzarella & parmesan


3 medium aubergines, sliced 3mm-thick lengthways
Flour, for dusting aubergines
Olive oil for frying
300g mozzarella, cut into 5mm slices
50g vegetarian parmesan, grated
10 basil leaves, roughly torn
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
400g tin tomatoes

Put the aubergine slices in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes to allow the bitter juices to drain away. Heat the oven to 180C.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and as soon as you begin to smell the garlic, add the tomatoes and half the basil. Season then simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the tomatoes have melted.
Rinse the aubergine slices and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly dust both sides with flour. Heat enough olive oil to come 1cm up the side of a saucepan.
Fry the aubergine in batches until golden brown on both sides. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil.
Spoon a little tomato sauce into a 30cm oven dish. Cover with a layer of aubergines. Add a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce, then a layer of mozzarella. Add the remaining basil.
Sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat to use up the ingredients. Bake for 20–30 minutes, or until lightly golden     brown and crusty. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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8 Nov 11, 06:25

Impressive style of post thanks for share it.

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1 Aug 11, 14:23

Hey Fatema nice collection of recipes. I would like to thanks for this kind of recipes.

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