How to Cook AubergineNovember 13, 2023
Aubergines are large, fleshy, versatile vegetables, that are not only tasty, but also low in fat and calories. Because of their dense texture, aubergines make a fantastic substitute for meat in many dishes. There are several varieties of aubergine, but the most popular and familiar in the UK is large with purple skin and pale flesh, called “black beauty”.
When buying aubergines, look for smooth, glossy skin without blemishes. Also, feel the weight of your aubergine, as it should be substantially heavy. Beware of light aubergines, as this usually means they’re old and dry. Store aubergines in the salad drawer of the fridge until you’re ready to cook them, but don’t wait longer than five to six days, when they will start to go off. Aubergines are prone to bruising, so it’s important to handle with care and avoid crushing them with other vegetables such as carrots or potatoes.
How to cook aubergine
There are many ways in which you can cook aubergine. When planning your menu, it’s important to adapt your cooking method to suit the dish. Each method produces different flavours and textures, whether you fry aubergine, grill it, barbecue it, or roast it. But before you start cooking, you need to prep your aubergine first.
How to prepare an aubergine for cooking
Before you start cooking aubergine, wash it thoroughly and cut it for the recipe of your choice. If you’re frying the aubergine in a pan, for example, make sure you slice it thickly and salt it on both sides. The salt draws out unnecessary moisture from the aubergine, so it will absorb less oil as you fry it.
How to roast aubergine
- Trim off the stalks and cut each aubergine lengthways in half. You can score the top in a criss-cross pattern, but it’s not necessary.
- Arrange the aubergine halves on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Insert the aubergine into an oven preheated to 200°C fan/gas mark 6.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then carefully turn the aubergines over and roast for a further 10–15 minutes, until soft and golden. Scoop out the flesh if you’re making a dip or baba ganoush, or slice the aubergine to use in a salad or pasta. Alternatively, you could try roasting aubergine in slices or cubes, which makes the cooking process faster.
More ways to cook aubergine
Frying aubergine is a very simple method. As mentioned, always remember to salt aubergine ahead of time to draw out the juices and make it less susceptible to absorbing oil.
- Trim the stalks off your aubergines and slice them into 1cm circles. Lightly brush each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the aubergine slices in batches and fry for 3–5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. Enjoy them on their own or with some Greek yoghurt and fresh herbs.
If you want to grill aubergine, you can use a grilling pan or an oven grill. Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Leaving the stalks intact, cut the aubergines lengthways in half. Using a knife, score the flesh to make a criss-cross pattern. Brush the flesh side with 2 tbsps of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the aubergines in a baking tray or grill pan for 10-12 minutes, with the flesh-side facing down, until soft and leathery. Flip the aubergines over and grill for another 5 minutes. Once ready, you can add them to a variety of meals or use them as antipasti.
Barbecuing is another method that can elevate an aubergine. The beauty of this method is that you can barbecue aubergines whole. Once they are nicely chargrilled, strip their skins and scoop out the flesh for a hearty side dish. You can also cut thick slices or cubes of aubergine and stick them onto skewers, alternating with peppers, onions and prawns for a quick outdoor lunch.
Recipes with aubergines
Aubergines are incredibly versatile and can be paired with a wide range of pasta, salads, soups, and meat dishes. Discover some favourite HelloFresh recipes that effortlessly bring aubergine into your weekly menu:
- Aubergine Parmigiana Salad
- Miso Teriyaki Beef Stuffed Aubergines
- Oven-Baked Aubergine Risotto
- Satay Aubergine and Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Curry
- Roasted Pepper and Aubergine Linguine
Now that you’ve mastered the art of cooking aubergines, discover the delicious world of HelloFresh recipes and find inspiration for weekly meal ideas, with a flexible HelloFresh subscription.