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Tuesday 8 August 2017

Grilled aubergine/eggplant and tomato salad

Serves Four
1 aubergine (eggplant), sliced lengthways
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp dried crushed chilli flakes
1 lemon, juice and zest
200g (7oz) plum tomatoes
1 ball of mozzarella
½ packet (about 15g) mint leaves
½ packet (about 15g) parsley
a few leaves of basil

1. Cut aubergine (eggplant) into thin slices lengthways. Brush each slice with olive oil and grill in a griddle pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until tender and charred. Place in a serving dish.
2. Add garlic to griddle pan with the chilli flakes. Heat for just a few seconds then add the lemon juice and swirl though the pan. Drizzle it over the aubergine slices.
3. Crush the plum tomatoes and scatter over. Tear up the mozzarella and add to the dish. Season well.
4. Finely chop the mint and parsley, add the lemon zest and scatter over the salad with a few torn basil leaves.

Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 4.3g Protein 8.4g Fibre 2.7g Fat 16.4g
See original Tesco real-food idea here

Are full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Along with tomatoes, potatoes and bell peppers, the aubergine (solanum melongena) belongs to the nightshade plant family (Solanaceae). In fact, aubergines grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height. They have a deep purple, glossy skin encasing cream coloured, sponge-like flesh dotted with small, edible seeds. In addition to the classic purple variety, aubergines are available in other colours including lavender, jade green, orange and yellow and in a range of shapes and sizes. The most popular variety of aubergine looks like a large, pear-shaped egg, hence the American name ‘eggplant.’

Nutritional highlights:
Aubergines are an excellent source of dietary fibre. They are also a good source of Vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. In addition it is high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. A 100g serving of raw aubergine provides: 25kcal 1g protein 0.2g fat 6g carbohydrate 3.4g fibre

Research on aubergines has focused on nasunin. It is not only a potent antioxidant, protecting the fatty acids essential for healthy brain function, but it also helps move excess iron out of the body. Although iron is an essential nutrient, necessary for transporting oxygen in the blood, immune support and collagen synthesis, too much iron is not recommended.
Aubergines are high in fibre and low in fat and therefore recommended for those managing type 2 diabetes or managing weight concerns. Initial studies indicate that phenolic-enriched extracts of aubergine/eggplant may help in controlling glucose absorption, beneficial for managing type 2 diabetes and reducing associated high blood pressure (hypertension).
Aubergines may also help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol  levels. These positive effects are likely to be down to nasunin and other phytochemicals in aubergines.

How to select & store:
On visual inspection, the skin colour should be vivid, shiny and free of discoloration, scars and bruises, which usually indicate that the flesh beneath has become damaged and possibly decayed. The stem and cap at the top of the aubergine should also be free of discolouration. Choose aubergines that are firm and heavy for their size. To test the ripeness of an aubergine, gently press the skin with the pad of your thumb. If it springs back, the aubergine is ripe, if an indentation remains, it is not. Aubergines are actually quite perishable, being sensitive to both heat and cold. Store them whole in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator, where they will keep for a few days. If you cut an aubergine before you store it, it will decay quickly. Once cooked, aubergines can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. It is often recommended to tenderise aubergines and to reduce the bitter taste by salting it. After cutting the aubergine into the desired shape, sprinkle it with salt and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. This process pulls out some of the aubergine’s water content and along with it some of the bitter components. If you are trying to reduce your salt intake, you can simply wash the salt off.

Aubergines are a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which includes bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Research suggests a  link between aggravated arthritic symptoms and the consumption of these types of foods. Although no case-controlled studies confirm these findings, some individuals consuming nightshade-family vegetables experience an aggravation of arthritic symptoms and may benefit from limiting or avoiding these foods. Aubergines contain significant amounts of oxalate. Individuals with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid overconsuming them.
These words about aubergine taken from here

I just happen to have an aubergine, some tomatoes and mozzarella in the fridge!

All the best Jan


Cheryl said...

Aubergine look beautiful. I feel they never live up to their looks :)
I remember those veggie lasagne days.......yuk
I will give this a go. It looks delicious and I like the combination of ingeedients.

sage said...

As the heat have set in, eggplant, okra and peppers are all that's left in the garden and I've been looking for more recipes!

Blogoratti said...

Thanks for the informative post, the dish looks really nice and packed with nutrients indeed.

Jo said...

It looks lovely. Augergine is something I've rarely bought but this salad may just tempt me.

Carol Blackburn said...

I love eggplant and this looks so good. Has given me ideas for mixing it up a bit and making my own creation too. Thanks. Have a great day.

Christine said...

Didn't know they were related to bell peppers. Your dish looks so good, I love eggplant.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I love eggplant. This looks delicious. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I really enjoy aubergine if it's prepared and cooked properly but it's an easy vegetable to get wrong! This looks like a nice recipe

Catarina said...

I buy eggplant sporadically for some reason. I will start buying it more often from now on.

This is such a colourful meal I feel like preparing it this minute.


Mac n' Janet said...

That looks so good and summery. I really like eggplant, my husband not so much, he'll eat it, but would never ask for it.

Tom said...

...a summertime treat.

Martha said...

I love this! What a wonderful recipe.

Valerie-Jael said...

So yummy! Hugs, Valerie

happyone said...

That does look good. I really like eggplant.

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Jan, this looks very yummy. I will add it to my list :)

Catarina said...

So colourful and so healthy.

: )

Mary Kirkland said...

I've only made eggplant a couple of ways so this sounds quite good.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Fascinating! Apart from the colour and being a member of the Nightshade family, I didn't know any of that about aubergines!

Our photos said...

That looks delicious !

DMS said...

I do not think I have ever had an aubergines. This recipe sounds delicious and I have to try it soon. Also- thanks for all the helpful information about the Nightshade family. I had no idea.

Elephant's Child said...

Yum. big yum.

Stephanie said...

What a delicious and refreshing salad, my friend! Indeed, a big yum!

Hugs to you!

Lisabella Russo said...

Oh that looks delicious, thank you!

Snowbird said...

How fabulous! I'm giving that a go for