After my little experiment with courgettes I became curious about vegetables, they are strange and often bitter plants grown in a variety of ways. So, the Aubergine (eggplant) is my latest subject of experimentation and this time I wasn’t thinking about a comparison to the potato. Like with the courgettes I intended to do all that I could think of with them and am writing about the results.
Raw – I sliced a disk of aubergine and ate it in about three bites, it had a texture quite similar to an apple and wasn’t much different in taste, it wasn’t as strong but it was similar. It wasn’t a way that I’d want to eat much of but it wasn’t bad.
Fried – I cut the aubergine into three disks, this time frying them in a pan with a little oil until one side went brown, then flipped them so the other side could brown too. Straight out of the pan they didn’t really taste of anything, just bland whiteish disks with a slightly tough skin around the edges. As it cooled it started to taste bitter and softened. I wouldn’t recommend it this way.
Roasted – After once again slicing it into three disks I put these ones into an ovenproof dish with a bit of oil, some pepper, a bit of cheese and one of them had tomato ketchup on for a flavour change. I cooked this for about 30 minutes in a non preheated 200degree oven. The aubergine ended up slightly slimy and bitter, not being nice in taste or texture, the browned cheese was lovely and the one with ketchup on tasted nice but I would have liked it firmer which I can achieve with toasted bread if I really want. The aubergine skin in this method was really tough and hard to chew through, I would recommend peeling them if you intend to roast them.
Curried – Curious about the effect of ketchup I decided that an outside flavour was needed so I diced what was left of the vegetable and put it on the hob at medium heat in a saucepan with enough water to cover it. After a few minutes of cooking I added a stock cube and half a teaspoon of cumin for a basic curry flavour. This had about ten minutes more cooking time being stirred occasionally. Straight out of the pan the cumin dominated the flavour but as it cooled the aubergine’s bitterness shone through and it wasn’t very nice. I think for a vegetarian who is making a proper curry this vegetable could act as a meat replacement because it is filling and chunky plus you may become accustomed to the taste after a while.
So, what I learned here is that the aubergine isn’t very nice unless you can overpower it with some sort of sauce like ketchup or curry but as a meat eater I don’t see the point of using this vegetable instead of chicken or something so I probably won’t touch it again.