Aubergine

Did you know that aubergine …

Aubergine

  • The aubergine is a low-calorie vegetable, with only 16 per hundred grams. It contains 90-93% water, which makes it a natural diuretic. Its spongy flesh is so absorbent; it can take in a lot of flavors and five times more oil than potatoes. Below are a few tricks to reduce this 🙂
  • The aubergine’s purple skin is the richest source of nasunin, a scavenger radical that protects the cell membranes of the brain. Of course, when your brain cells are protected, your brain functions better and you can get smarter  😉 .
  • My mother’s way to enjoy this brain food is to slice it, fry it with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add parsley and flaked garlic just before serving. Try it and you are going to love it.
  • Being loaded with chlorogenic acid, aubergines can also help to prevent and cure cancer, protect the lining of the heart and blood vessels. Including aubergine in your regular diet also enhances bile production, making it easier for you to recover from hangovers.
  • It’s best to buy aubergines during summer as this is their peak season. Choose the ones that have smooth and shiny skins, not mottled or wrinkled. Weigh an aubergine on your hand. It must be heavy for its size.
  • Store aubergines in a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator. Do not slice aubergines that you do not intend to use immediately as they will decay faster, even when placed in the refrigerator.
  • Some aubergines have a harsh and bitter taste. You can reduce this by purging it with salt 30/60 minutes before cooking. To do this, remove the top, spiky portion. Slice the aubergines lengthwise, drizzle  them with coarse salt and arrange them layer by layer inside a colander. Put a plate on top of the aubergines with a weight like a jar of Cannonata 😉 Make sure that you put a plate under the colander as well to collect the drippings. Rinse them under tap water and dry them with paper towels.
  • To reduce the absorption of oil when cooked, soak the aubergines in a bowl of cold water for at least five minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  • Fry them in a lot of very hot oil (180C). They will absorb oil at the beginning but release it when cooked, so don’t add more oil when cooking. Turn when golden brown. Never turn them more than once. Use paper towels when done to absorb excess oil.
  • The aubergine is so flexible, you can use it in many different dishes. In Italy we use it stripped and preserved in oil as antipasti. In Sicily it is stewed with other vegetables as bruschetta topping or as a side dish for meat, Caponata. Another very famous recipe is “Parmigiana di melanzane” originally made with fried aubergines (a lighter version is made with grilled aubergines), tomato sauces, caciocavallo or mozzarella cheese and grated parmigiano made in layers at the same way of lasagne. One day I will share my personal version if you are interested 🙂

Do you still wonder why an aubergine is a wonder vegetable?

2 Comments

  • Michael Finucane

    Reply Reply

    Yes please on your recipe for parmigiano!!

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