The dandy of the veg patch. Our organic aubergines have glossy skins, sweet flesh – and endless culinary possibility.
The dandy of the veg patch. Our organic aubergines have glossy skins and sweet, firm flesh – no bitter, washed-out specimens here. This versatile veg is good for roasting, ratatouille or smoky dips. For something really sumptuous, stuff with veg, rice or couscous, top with cheese and bake until golden and bubbling.
Countries of originProduced in
Old recipes tell you to salt aubergines to draw out bitterness, but with modern breeds it's not needed
How to prepare
Veg that grows together, goes together. Aubergine is close friends with other Mediterranean favourites: tomatoes, basil, garlic and capers. If you pair it with those, whether in caponata, ratatouille, imam bayildi or aubergine parmiagiana, you can't go far wrong.
They’re a sponge for a huge range of other flavours as well. Roast in cubes and toss with couscous, yoghurt and harissa – or lightly stir-fry with garlic, spring onions, soy sauce, wine vinegar and sesame oil. The options are practically as endless as your imagination.
BBQ tip: Barbequed slices of aubergine tend to stick and tear; it’s better to cook them whole, until the skin is burnt and split, and the flesh is soft and collapsing. Leave the green calyx at the top; it will hold everything together. Rub the skin lightly with oil and place them directly on the bars of the BBQ. Keep turning every few mins to get an even cook. In about 20 mins (depending on size) they will start to soften and blister. They are ready when the whole thing feels perfectly soft. Always squeeze with a pair of tongs, not your fingers; they love to belch scalding steam when prodded. Put aside until cool enough to handle, then peel away and discard the skin. You’ll be left with a messy, smoky mass; perfect to be folded into a stew, lengthened into a sauce or blended for a dip. You could even dress the whole thing warm with olive oil, feta, fresh herbs and toasted nuts for a light lunch.
No BBQ? To replicate inside, roast the aubergines whole at 190°C until collapsing, then slightly burn the skin over a gas ring flame to create the smoky flavour.
Keep in the fridge. They should last about a week. They can become slightly bitter the longer you keep them, but there’s no need to salt aubergines, as modern varieties are grown to be much sweeter than they used to be.
Grown by Paco Lozano, Motril, Spain
Paco Lozano runs EcoSur along with his three brothers and has been working with Riverford for over ten years. They grow many of our tomatoes as well as mini watermelons, organic papaya, aubergines, a rainbow of pepper varieties and our first spring flush of french beans.
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