This could be why I grow them...........
Full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and with the potential to lower cholesterol and help manage weight, aubergines are a great choice for salads, stews and beyond. .
Aubergines are rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin found in aubergine skin - which gives it its purple colour. A potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell and helping it to function. The lipid layer is crucial for letting nutrients in, wastes out and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell what to do.
Or maybe it's just because I like them and they are very useful in vegetarian dishes.
The first two, several weeks ago now, were used to make a big batch of my simple aubergine and tomato sauce for pasta.(Recipe on the Recipe page) and 4 tubs were put in the freezer.
Then I ran out of tubs so I gave 3 aubergines away.
Thought I'd better look for more recipes and I found this one for a rather large Aubergine Gratin
But I'll need to wait for more tomatoes to turn red first..........and make it a lot smaller as this serves 4 - 6.
- 3 aubergines sliced thin lengthways
- 2 medium red onions, very thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g waxy potatoes
- 5 large plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- zest ½ unwaxed lemon
- 175g soft goat's cheese, crumbled
- 100g good-quality black olives, pitted and chopped
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat 11 /2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the aubergines in batches, browning on both sides, then lower the heat and cook until they are soft.
- Heat another 1 tbsp of oil in the pan and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat until softening, about 10-12 mins, then add the garlic and cook for another few mins.
- Slice the potatoes very, very finely.
- Brush the bottom of a gratin dish with olive oil, and arrange the vegetables in layers. Start with half the potatoes, then half the aubergine, onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle the thyme, lemon zest, goat’s cheese, olives and seasoning, along with little drizzles of olive oil on the layers as you go. Add another layer of aubergine, onions and tomatoes, again adding the other ingredients as you go. Finish with the rest of the potatoes, arranging them neatly on top. Brush with olive oil and bake for 45 mins. The gratin should be soft, the potatoes tender and the top golden.
Last week when some freezer tubs were emptied I remembered a Morrisons Thai Red Curry Kit in the cupboard, bought on a whim to try a couple of months ago when I'd noticed it on offer.
I used it to make a big pan of veggie curry with aubergines, tin of tomatoes, courgette, onion, green beans and potatoes.
Very good it was too and a nice colour and flavour change from my usual curry which I make from scratch with curry powder. 1 portion to eat and 4 for the freezer, now I'm out of freezer boxes again.
What next I wonder.
(There is one other reason for growing as I'll be able to use them for one of the classes in Bacton produce show next month!)