Aubergines and potatoes are my most favourite vegetables, I am happy to eat them as often as possible.
A few years ago I tried to grow my own aubergines, but there was one plague after another - slugs, caterpillars, some kind of mould etc, so I've not succeeded. After that gardening disaster I just buy them in the shops.
I rarely peel the aubergines (unless the recipe asks for that specifically). The modern varieties are not bitter, and I don't pre-salt them either to remove bitterness.
Sweet and sour aubergine ragu with oyster mushrooms is a tasty comfort food.
Sweet and sour aubergine ragu with oyster mushrooms
1 red onion
5+tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, grated
2 medium aubergines
1 sweet pepper
1-2 clove of garlic
2 big tomatoes
3-4tbsp fresh lemon juice
2tbsp Clarks maple syrup
a punnet of oyster mushrooms
fresh dill (optional)
|The sweet pepper is listed in the ingredients list, but is missing in the photo, as I added it after I took the photo|
Start by frying a finely chopped red onion in 2 tbsp olive oil, keep stirring for 3-4 minutes, then add grated carrots, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Cube the aubergines and slice a pepper, add to the onion and carrot mix, with more of olive oil.
Aubergines tend to absorb quite a lot of oil, so if you're counting calories, add a dash of water, and cook stirring frequently.
Add a finely chopped clove of garlic, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and maple syrup. You might need a big glug of water. Cover the pan with the lid, and cook simmering, on low heat, for half an hour or so, until the aubergines are soft.
Add the mushrooms in the last five minutes of cooking.
Serve with rice, or as a side dish to a meat course. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, like dill or parsley.
If you don't like oyster mushrooms, they can be easily swapped for chestnut mushrooms.
I served the ragu with the arancini (rice balls).
In this recipe I used Clarks Original maple syrup, which was one of the products in the latest Degustabox food box. It's a natural blend of Pure Canadian maple syrup and carob fruit syrup. It's suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
If you enjoy cooking with aubergines, check out the following recipes:
Aubergine curry (Indian recipe)
Aubergine ikra (Russian recipe)
Caponata (Sicilian recipe)
Pasta 'ncasiata (Sicilian recipe)
Freekeh with aubergines and cashews
What are your favourite aubergine-based recipes?