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Preparing eggplants: tips and recipes | > – Guide – Cooking

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Preparing eggplants: tips and recipes |  > – Guide – Cooking

Status: 07/07/2023 11:43 a.m

Whether fried, grilled, stuffed or pureed: For many, aubergines are the epitome of Mediterranean cuisine. Preparation tips and recipes.

In Germany, Mediterranean fruits usually only thrive in greenhouses. Outdoor aubergines usually come from Spain, Italy or Turkey. There they are in season from about May to the end of September.

When bought, the skin of eggplants should be slightly shiny. However, striped varieties are rarely available from us.

Aubergines, also known as eggplants, are available from us all year round. However, supermarkets usually only offer the typical dark purple, oval specimens. Around the Mediterranean and in other subtropical regions, on the other hand, the fruits are available in many different varieties – from elongated and narrow to green, white or marbled. They differ not only in aroma, but also have different firm flesh.

Buying and storing eggplants

When purchased, the shell should be smooth, firm, and shiny, and yield slightly to gentle pressure. The flesh should be white after cutting open, brown spots indicate that the vegetable has been stored for too long. It is best to always use the fruit quickly and store it outside of the refrigerator until then. The vegetable compartment of the refrigerator is a bit too cold for aubergines and therefore not optimal, but they keep there for about five days and thus a little longer than at room temperature.

Before frying, salt the aubergines and dredge them in flour

Before cooking, it is advisable to rub the aubergine slices with a little salt.

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Aubergines should always be cooked, as this is how they develop their own delicate taste. Raw and unripe eggplants can also contain the substance solanine, which can cause stomach problems. Before preparing, slice the aubergines, rub with salt and leave for a few minutes. They lose water, absorb less fat and become softer when cooked. The salt is also said to draw bitter substances out of the fruit – however, today’s varieties are hardly any bitter.

Then dab off the leaking liquid. A few dashes of lemon ensure that the slices retain their light colour. If you like, you can also lightly coat the aubergines in flour before frying. This closes the pores a little and the aubergine absorbs less oil.

Aubergines as a starter and main course

Mediterranean starter: Eggplant au gratin with feta cheese and tomatoes.

Grilled or fried in olive oil and well seasoned – for example with garlic, salt, pepper and chili – aubergine slices are a popular starter. They are just as suitable for vegetable pans (ratatouille) and casseroles (moussaka). Half a fruit can be filled with minced meat and feta and gratinated. A typical appetizer of oriental cuisine is eggplant puree (Baba Ghanoush). Halve the fruit, brush with olive oil, season and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then scrape out the flesh, mix with some yoghurt, sesame paste, olive oil and lemon juice and puree.

As a typical vegetable of the Mediterranean cuisine, aubergines go very well with tomatoes, zucchini and other Mediterranean vegetables. They can be combined with both meat and fish dishes and are given a special touch by oriental spices such as cumin and spice mixtures such as harissa.

Healthy and low in calories

Since eggplants are mostly water, they are very low in calories. However, they quickly become saturated with fat when frying, so it is best to cook them with only a little oil. The fruits are high in potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful substances. The skin of the aubergine is also rich in B vitamins.

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Further information

Whether combined with fish, meat or other types of vegetables or as a starter or main course: great recipes with aubergines. more

Eggplants are rich in nutrients and have an anti-inflammatory effect. They are also low in calories and contain a lot of fiber. more

This topic in the program:

09.07.2023 | 4 p.m

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