Hearty and fleshy aubergines are some of my favourite vegetables to use for vegetarian and vegan recipes. Known in the US as eggplants, they have a chunky texture which makes them a great meat replacement in vegan and vegetarian dishes.
They have a bitter/sweet flavour with delicious earthy notes and a spongy texture. You can grow them at home where they will need a warm and sunny spot to crop well. Signature dishes for aubergine recipes such as ratatouille, moussaka, stew, tagine, baba ganoush, stir fry, aubergine parmigiana etc... can easily be made meat-free by swapping meat for lentils or pulses. Aubergines are also a star of Asian cuisines with dishes such as aubergine curry, stir-fry, tempura just to name a few.
How to cook aubergines
Aubergines are generally not eaten raw and you do not need to peel them. You will need to cook them fully until the flesh is really soft. They are truly versatile and can be cooked in a number of different ways. Grill them in the oven or on the barbecue. Sautee them with a little bit of oil in a pan. Deep-fry them coated in batter or breadcrumbs. They are also delicious fried. They are also delicious stewed in a tomato sauce or in a curry sauce or stuffed with grains.
What pairs well with aubergines?
Aubergines are popular with many world cuisines such as French, Asian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Thai etc.. They soak up flavours and pair beautifully with a wide range of ingredients such as miso, herbs, curry, eggs, peppers, soy sauce, yoghurt, pomegranate, tomatoes, turmeric, saffron, nuts, seeds etc.. For some yummy aubergines for vegetarian and vegan recipes, try my Roasted Aubergines with Creamy Harissa Dressing, Cauliflower and Aubergine Curry or Summer Vegetable Traybake.
UK season: June to October.
Nutritional content: High in antioxidants. Good source of fibre, Vitamins Bs, copper, magnesium and manganese.