Perfectly cooked aubergine…

As an aubergine lover, I believe you can’t ever go wrong with aubergine in a dish…however, I do know that not everyone would agree with me, and often that is because they’ve tried aubergine and not liked it, which is usually because the aubergine has been badly cooked. And by badly cooked, I mean either UNDER cooked, or dripping in oil 😦 

Aubergine that has NOT been cooked properly is NOT nice! The texture of properly cooked aubergine should be soft and melt in your mouth; uncooked aubergine will remain hard and slightly chewy and not at all tasty, verging on bitter. The trick is to ensure that you allow enough time to really cook aubergine well.

Aubergine cooked on a barbecue is often one of the worst culprits as far as I’m concerned, I’ve seen chunks of aubergine threaded onto skewers alongside peppers and onions, and it’s never cooked well. The peppers and onions take so much less time to cook, that the poor aubergine doesn’t get a chance to catch up. My advice: cook them separately!! 

Likewise, if you find lovely chunks of aubergine in a dish like curry/stew/ratatouille and it’s not cooked, it’s such a disappointment, especially for an aubergine lover like me. In this scenario, I would consider pre-cooking the aubergine, which is what I did recently to make this gorgeous aubergine tikka masala curry

These aubergine chunks were marinated and roasted until lovely and soft, before being added to the sauce.

So good!

So my message is: please be sure to cook your aubergine well, and to this end, today I am sharing with you my current favourite way of preparing aubergine. This is how I produced these lovely aubergine slices below..

There is an assumption that to really cook aubergine well, you need lots of oil. 

This is not true.

Aubergine is like a sponge and really soaks up oil, so if you do cook aubergine slices or chunks in lots of oil, it will merely hold onto it and fill your mouth with oil when you bite into it – yuk! Use of some oil is good for cooking aubergine, it just doesn’t have to be drowning in it. I usually use an olive oil spray when roasting or baking aubergine to control the amount I use. 

For these slices, I cut the aubergines into slices between 0.5cm and 1cm thick. If you slice them too thin, they risk burning and becoming papery.

I laid the slices on a rack sitting on an oven sheet, sprayed each slice with olive oil…

I cooked these in the oven, heated to 200c, until they looked like this..

They remain uncoloured on the underneath, but that doesn’t take anything away from the finished effect. 

On the rare occasion that I haven’t eaten the whole lot straight out of the oven, I’ve used these slices chopped up in salads..

Or to scoop up salad..

Or to create a plate of layered loveliness..

These slices have been spread with homous, then topped with beautiful roasted red onion and garlic and topped with toasted nuts. 

I hope I have inspired you in a new way to cook aubergines, and news ways to enjoy them. I’ll be taking these along to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Julie and Linda. Please do join us πŸ™‚

I’m also going to take this post along to Corina’s Cook Once, Eat Twice party, and add it to my own Pimp Your Veg collection. 

For now I’ll leave you to drool over those gorgeous roasted and caramelised red onions and garlic…

Advertisements

62 thoughts on “Perfectly cooked aubergine…

  1. Divine Spice Box

    this is a such a good information for aubergine lovers πŸ™‚ Thank u Elaine for sharing such amazing tips and including my recipe link !! Love it ! I so totally agree that aubergines not cooked well or soaking in oil is the worst thing one can do. One of my friend (who was skeptical about aubergines anyways), once made a dish (after a lot of convincing from me :P)and she used far too much oil (more than reqd or recommended in the recipe) and it was a disappointing dish ! She never tried aubergines again πŸ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  2. sallybr

    Great post, Elaine! You know what my problem is with aubergine? I have issues with the skin. It is a texture and taste thing – so I usually remove the skin after it’s cooked, when it’s on my plate – it gets messy and I rather not do that in company (I will politely eat every bit of skin with a smile) – I keep trying to eat it again and again to see if I can get over it, but… it’s hard for me

    But you are absolutely right, it needs to be cooked completely – that’s why I played with sous vide, but that method is not working the way websites told me it would.

    I rather use your traditional way of baking it – winner!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    I never use too much oil – being a lifetime member of Weight Watcher’s this was always a big no-no! I hear you on cooking it properly as I am very particular about the way a number of veggies are cooked. I would love to have a plateful of the dishes you served in those last two pictures πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Corina

    I absolutely love aubergine and so does my youngest aged 2. Whenever I do roasted vegetables for lunch no matter how much aubergine I cook he will try to eat all of it and I’m doing my best to eat some myself before it all disappears! This aubergine does look perfect and thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. chef mimi

    If I bake or roast eggplant, it’s only for myself, sadly. My husband is convinced that they are a nasty vegetable, and the peel is bitter. Oh well. I enjoy them, and your slices are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Susan

    I know I commented on some of this on Instagram, but I just want to say again this is a beautiful post! You have a talent and creativity all your own. Truly mouthwatering, Lainey!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. petra08

    You make aubergine look like art! Beautiful photos and of course, you make me want to go and get some aubergines for dinner tomorrow! Delicious and I absolutely agree that it can be quite an abused vegetable but cooked right, absolutely delicious! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. Nicole @ yumsome

    You are a woman after my own heart! Is there much worse than improperly cooked aubergine? (Let’s pretend that current events aren’t happening!) I am so with you re. the disappointment at finding less than perfect aubergine ninja-ing in what would otherwise be a perfect dish.

    Oh, the despair! πŸ˜‰

    I love your ammonite plate, by the way – it’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Luscious lunches… | foodbod

  10. choclette

    This is such a useful post, I wish I’d discovered it years ago. I’ve only recently learnt to enjoy aubergines having been put off when I was young by a particularly disgusting moussaka. I’m now desperate to make that curry – it sounds wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #169 Leftover Aubergine Rarebit Wrap | Spoon in a Saucepan

Let me know what you think..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s