Aubergine, Eggplant or Brinjal is an edible fruit used in various dishes around the world. With its deep purple colour it is indeed a thing of beauty but does come in white and shades of pink. As a child I hated this vegetable and would literally pull faces when Mum cooked this vegetable. My lil well when she was three had a total block against eating Aubergines and her theory was that they would break your bones but in actual fact it is the opposite.I know have a love affair with aubergines especially since I tasted an Aubergine Parmigiana.To me this such comfort food and reminds me of lasagna basically the healthy option with no carbs.A few weeks ago Mum and I headed out for lunch at found ourselves at Remo’s Italian , as Mum is a vegetarian there is often not much on the menu for her. On seeing that there was Aubergine Parmigiana on the menu Mum was very happy. This lunch was the inspiration for this recipe.
The story behind Aubergine Parmigiana:
The story or roots behind this dish start off in the Asian continent in the 9th century where it was then brought to Southern Italy by the Arabs.Aubergine Parmigiana originated in the South of Italy and has several variations according to family recipes.In Italy the Aubergine is called Melanzana. There several versions of this meat free dish include Chicken and Veal Parmesan.
Health Benefits of Aubergine :
1. An excellent source of dietary fibre.
2. Is a potent antioxidant.
3.The phenolic extracts help in reducing high blood pressure.
4.Can reduce anemia.
5. Has the ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
6. help in weight-loss and manage diabetes.
7. Is rich in vitamins and minerals.
How to make Aubergine Parmigiana ?
3 large aubergines
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 finely chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
100g cheese grated
2 teaspoon parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Wash and slice aubergine soak in salted water. Drain once ready for frying and pat dry with a clean dishcloth to get rid of excess water.
2.Pre heat oven to 180 degrees. Heat a griddle pan on the stove with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.Lay the slices into the pan , roughly turn in 2 minutes check if there are griddle marks. Fry all the aubergine.
3.In a saucepan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil add onions and garlic to cook until golden brown before adding chopped tomatoes.Add salt, pepper , mixed herbs and sugar and allow to cook and reduce.
4. Grate cheese and grease an oven proof dish.
5. Put some sauce at bottom of dish before you start layering the grilled Aubergine and cover with the tomato sauce.I like to sprinkle some cheese in between the layers.Continue this until all the ingredients are finished you must end with a topping of cheese.On the final layer of cheese sprinkle the breadcrumbs for a crunchy finish.
6. Bake for 25/30 minutes.
7. This dish serves 4 people as a main meal.
1.Mozzarella cheese can also be used.
2. Pesto can be used in-between the cheese layers.
3.Serve as a main dish or a side vegetable dish.
4. Can be made into individual portions.
5.Can be served with a toss salad, garlic bread or crushed baby potatoes.
Be Inspired !