Grilled Aubergine

Grill aubergine (eggplant) to serve with a wide choice of ingredients to suit various meals types and diets.



‘Grilled’ Aubergine, widely featured on menus in the Mediterranean, refers to numerous cooking methods. It is frequently fried, resulting in the aubergine absorbing a large quantity of fat. The fat content of this dish can be minimised and the flavour enhanced with the addition of ingredients which make it both a tastier and healthier choice.

In this recipe, ‘grilled’ means to cook: over a barbecue; on a griddle or in frying pan, lightly oiled (olive oil for authenticity and healthiness); or in the oven. Any of these methods should result in browned and softened slices of aubergine full of flavour, not fat.

Once you have your ‘grilled’ aubergine, augmenting with a mixture of salty, savoury and/or sweet flavours will give the best results. You can achieve this by simply drizzling a herby dressing over the warm grilled vegetable. Select from a variety of herbs: basil, dill, parsley, oregano, mint, chives or flavoursome greens like rocket. (Other vegetables such as zucchini (courgette), pepper, pumpkin, potato or tomato can be grilled to serve in a similar style.)

Serve this dish as a starter or a salad combo. Alternatively, as a firm sliced vegetable, aubergine can be the base, replacing bread, for a combination of ingredients that could be a meal in itself. Common toppings to try are (selecting appropriately for any diet needs): feta cheese or grilled halloumi; chopped nuts; and diced mixed vegetables – eg tomato, spring onion and red pepper.

Diets for which Grilled Aubergine is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Paleo, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Ingredients

Preparation: 10 mins | Cook: 10 mins | Serves:4 as a starter
2 medium-sized aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil ( Low Calorie and Low Fat – see notes)*
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tbsp capers
20 basil leaves
1 tsp cracked black pepper
halloumi cheese (optional, not Dairy Free or Vegan diets)
walnuts (optional, not Nut Free)

Method

CUT the top off each aubergine and slice lengthwise into long, thin slices.
HEAT a frying pan adding 1 tbsp oil. **
FRY the aubergine until lightly coloured, then turn to cook on the other side. (In a hot pan, this will take approximately 2-3 minutes on each side and the aubergine will soften but still remain firm.)
RINSE the capers.
BLEND the basil, capers, lemon zest, oil, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and black pepper. (Finely chop if you do not have a blender or want texture to the dressing.)
TASTE and adjust the ingredients if necessary. (To thin the dressing add oil, lemon juice or a little water.)
DRIZZLE the dressing over the warm slices of aubergine.

Serve

– With fresh or grilled pitta bread.
– As a starter or in combination with other salads.

Notes

* Reduce the quantity of oil and thin the dressing with lemon juice or a little water to trim the acidity.
** Alternatively cook on a griddle or a barbecue or in an oven. Brush the griddle with oil and cook the aubergine in each side. To bake: brush both sides of the aubergine with oil and place the slices, on a tray, in a hot oven for approximately 10 minutes.

Variatinos

– Sprinkle with feta cheese (not Dairy Free or Vegan) or toasted nuts, eg walnuts (not Nut Free) or pumpkin seeds.
– Top with grilled halloumi cheese, as seen here (not Dairy Free or Vegan).
– Dress the aubergine with pesto thinned with oil and lemon juice (recipe).
– Add grapefruit, orange or slices of roasted lemon, with basil or mint.
– Dress with a tahini-based sauce (not Nut Free): tahini, lemon juice, ground cumin, garlic. (Thin the dressing with oil, lemon juice or water.)
– Add roasted spring onions (not Fodmap).
– Sprinkle with chopped tomato, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper.
– Dress with mirin, tamari (Gluten Free where necessary), ginger, and sesame oil (not Nut Free) or seeds (recipe)

Variations

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