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Aubergines - someone teach me please.

(24 Posts)
21mealspluscake Wed 19-Jun-13 08:22:27

I make an aubergine salad using steamed aubergine. I was a bit uncertain about it but steaming makes them incredibly silky, and no oil! Only takes about 10-15 minutes. Then in a mortar and pestle pound garlic with a little salt, add walnuts and crush, add chopped dill and keep pounding then stir in plain yoghurt and a splash of olive oil. Stir the aubergine through, amazing.

Or for an Asian salad try this

littleomar Tue 18-Jun-13 21:43:13

Deep fried or cooked in fire (BBQ or gas flame) or oven until they explode (see up thread). I've never grilled them successfully.

Mondaybaby Tue 18-Jun-13 21:37:18

Wow, thanks everybody (including you Peggotty, sorry to have missed you earlier. Was posting at work and was rushing). These recipes do look very tasty. I will choose one to try and report back! I'm determined that aubergines will not get the better of me!

justanuthermanicmumsday Tue 18-Jun-13 19:53:24

Easy bengali way

plain flour maybe 2-3 tablespoons for 1 medium aubergine

1 tblspn rice flour optional i don't always use it if I'm out of it, make extra crunchy.

1 tspn turmeric into the flour, 1 tspn curry powder, tiny pinch of chilli powder (optional).

Lots of salt to taste this is important or it will taste bland.

Then add enough lukewarm water to make a nice thick batter, but not too thick that it won't drop off a spoon. You want it to coat the aubergine

Next slice aubergine into round slices the thinner the better but not too thin, you want a bite.

Quick wash, drain in colander for few mins. In meantime get a large flat heavy pan of oil on, only need a few inches its not deep fried, but the aubergine does suck up the oil quickly, if that happens just add more in between adding your next batch. So got your vegetable oil on right? on highest heat. Don't use a wok you'll be there forever can't put maypny slices in unless its a flat wok. I don't think the non stick trial type pans work so good either, but they're not bad. Best is a heavy pan, like cast iron or anything heavy based, seems to come out crispier!

Dip the aubergine slice into the batter coat it slide off excess place into the oil. Do the same for all slices until pan is full. When full you can lower heat a tiny bit if you think its cooking to fast so may be raw, but you may lose the crispness if you do so keep an eye on it and increase again slowly.

Drain onto kitchen paper or in a dry colander to retain crispness. I usually use kitchen towel then immediately put it on a plate without kitchen roll so it doesn't go soggy.

i serve it with long grain white rice, equally nice with basmati. A typical bengali dish usually mum made this when food was low and she didnt want to do a big cook. Or in summer nice light meal compared with meat.

My 6 yr old hates aubergine, this is the only way he actually loves it, but if its a tad bit soggy he won't have it, uff kids are so annoying!

I also like delia smiths veg roast lasagne recipe, uses aubergine, her website has it.

BIWI Tue 18-Jun-13 19:47:19

This is a fabulous recipe from Simon Hopkinson Grilled aubergines with olive oil, garlic, parsley and feta cheese

WilsonFrickett Tue 18-Jun-13 19:35:54

Very high heat, you basically want them to explode. There is an amazing Ottolenghi recipe, my book is packed away but from memory...

Half aubergines, salt, wash and dry. Brush with olive oil and put them in the oven, cut side up. Oven at 220. Bake till tender. While they're in the oven, blitz garlic, oil, lemon juice and lots and lots of fresh herbs till you get a sludgy paste. The minute the aubergines come out of the oven, pour the herb paste over them, then serve either right away or at room temp later. I think they serve with tahini dressing, but I'm not too keen on that.

But high heat and dressing immediately is the absolute key.

Furball Tue 18-Jun-13 19:31:04

My Ratatouille recipe =

1 x aubergine diced
1 x courgette diced
1/2 onion diced
tin of chopped napolina tomatoes - IMHO - these give the best flavour
then in a mug I mix 1 spoon of bovril and a squirt of garlic purree with about 1/4 of a mug of hot water and pour over the top of all the veg.

I do it in a large serving dish and chuck it in the oven with the roast for about 1 1/2 hours then top with grated cheese and pop back in for another 1/2 hour.

It's so easy and very tasty

BIWI Tue 18-Jun-13 19:22:50

No need to salt them these days.

The key to cooking with aubergine is to use lots of olive oil. They will suck up a fantastic amount.

Slice them - lengthways or widthways, which ever fits best with your recipe - no thinner than 1/2 cm. Brush with olive oil on both sides and then fry. You will have to add more oil to the pan. When they are nicely browned, then you can use them in whatever recipe you are using.

They are horrible and tough if they are just put straight into a recipe IMVHO.

TheRealFellatio Tue 18-Jun-13 19:21:12

Long slow cooking, waaaay more olive oil than seems decent, and plenty of seasoning. Delish.

RedundantExpat Tue 18-Jun-13 19:19:27

my italian MIL deep fries them for her parmigiana - it makes them all melt in the mouth. Yum. but I suspect it is the oil that makes them go down so well...

Another phantastic eggplant dish is georgian: filled with walnuts, lots of garlic and herbs. I think it's called Badrijani.

ShoeWhore Tue 18-Jun-13 19:14:47

This recipe from Nigel Slater is foolproof and utterly divine. Can't tell you how good it is.

coribells Tue 18-Jun-13 19:04:45

Veggie lasagne with layer of Aubergine . Roast in the oven first, til they are brownish. Twice cooked , no bitterness

Moknicker Tue 18-Jun-13 18:11:54

With hopefully links that work

Ive done this and it is a big hit. DD has an egg allergy but there are versions with egg as well.

Also done a Nigel Slater eggplant pasta recipe which comes out well

Moknicker Tue 18-Jun-13 18:10:50

Ive done this and it is a big hit. DD has an egg allergy but there are versions with egg as well.

Also done a Nigel Slater eggplant pasta recipe which comes out well

spondulix Tue 18-Jun-13 18:06:45

Apparently commercially grown aubergines have had the bitterness 'bred' out of them, so no need to salt anymore. I live in a developing country and have definitely noticed the difference, am back to salting.

How about a veggie moussaka?

Ruffello Tue 18-Jun-13 18:03:43

I'm a big fan of Baba Ganoush. There are many variations - this one looks ok. When I make it I usually grill the aubergines and let them steam for a while in a plastic bag so the skin comes off easily. Very nice with warm pitta!

peggotty Tue 18-Jun-13 17:51:15

You're welcome hmm

Mondaybaby Tue 18-Jun-13 15:38:08

Annunziata - I have never tried salting them before I use them but I will give it a try. Someone told me once that this was not needed but if it helps the taste then I will do it.
Fedup - Yes, badly done aubergines are vile and the ones I have ever cooked have been vile too. Ratatouille may be a good place to start.
The amount of olive oil that they need has always shocked me. I usually cook with the smallest amount of oil or butter necessary but aubergines seem to use up pints!
OK - I will be brave and give it another go.

BlueChampagne Tue 18-Jun-13 15:32:56

Great in curry - they really soak up the flavours (and the oil).

Annunziata Tue 18-Jun-13 14:55:35

Are you salting them before you try to do anything with them? You have to take out the bitterness, slice them, rub them with salt, leave them on kitchen paper for about 45 minutes and then wash them twice before you should fry them.

My favourite aubergine recipes are caponata, parmigiana and pasta alla norma. Or breaded, they're lovely that way too. Or you can make rolls of them with stuffing.

peggotty Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:53

this looks nice?

Artichook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:49

Copious good quality olive oil is the key. I used to salt my aubergines for a few hours before cooking but I don't actually think its necessary.

Get an Ottolenghi cookbook. Plenty is his veggie title. There are great aubergine dishes in there.

fedupwithdeployment Tue 18-Jun-13 13:58:01

Underdone aubergines are vile. They take a bit more olive oil than you expect, and a bit longer on the grill than you might expect. Have you done ratatouille? Or on the 5/2 thread there is an aubergine curry recipe that I am going to try.

Mondaybaby Tue 18-Jun-13 13:55:29

Hi all. I am a fairly decent cook but aubergines have always been my nemesis. I don't have a clue how to cook them. I absolutely love the taste of them when I have eaten them in restaurants. I don't like them when they are chewy or rubbery but when they are fried or grilled with a bit of a tomato-ee sauce they are great. I have tried cutting them thinly and brushing with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and they still come out of the oven tasting terrible and I have had to throw them all away.
So can someone give me an idiots guide to making something nice with an aubergine. I am strictly (including eggs) vegetarian.

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