Aubergine, Apricots, articokes, beetroot, beans, blacberries, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, cod, crab, cherries, cucumber, fennel, garlic, gooseberries, kiwis, lobster, loganberries, melons, mackerel, peaches, strawberries, and tomatoes.
What is Aubergine?
A vegetable (eggplant) native to the warmer climates of the Mediterranean, the aubergine was introduced to Britain about 300 years ago. There are many varieties; size, colour and shape can vary enormously. Choose aubergines that feel heavy and have unblemished skins and fleshy stalks.
This humble plant has played a major part in many popular regional cuisines throughout the world – in French ratatouille, say, or roasted and whipped into baba ganoush in traditional Levantine style. Roasted and marinated aubergines can be served as antipasti, with plenty of olive oil and fresh herbs. The slightly bland flavour of the aubergine makes it the perfect blank slate to which rich and aromatic spices and herbs can be added; slicked with miso and grilled, for example, or gently stewed with stock, chilli bean paste and Shaoxing wine for a classic Chinese dish with minced pork. In India, Iran and Afghanistan, aubergines are made into hot, spicy pickles to whet the appetite.
Previously, it was advised to salt aubergines to draw out any unpleasant bitterness, but with many modern varieties this is an unnecessary step; salting, however, is useful if the aubergine is to be cooked in oil, as it prevents the flesh from absorbing too much during cooking.