Despite the common perception that eggplant (also known as aubergine in the UK) is a type of vegetable, the truth is, it is technically a fruit. While aubergine is widely used as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, there are also various sumptuous dishes which are common in Mediterranean cuisine—and the eggplant is the star ingredient of the recipe. Many of its varieties include small, tubular Asian types, glossy deep purple variety in the Mediterrean, and plump and tiny types in the United States and Australia.
According to Care2.com, “eggplants contain certain essential phyto nutrients which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain. These nutrients are concentrated in the skin of the eggplant, so don’t char and throw it away. They provide fiber, which protects the digestive tract. In fact, regular intake of eggplants can protect you from colon cancer.” Aside from its anti-cancer benefits, eggplants can also help lower bad cholesterol and are also high in Bioflavonoids which can control the blood pressure. Frequent consumption of eggplants is recommended to all health buffs, vegetarians, and those who are medically advised to follow a particular diet or program.
Furthermore, eggplants are said to be great with wines. A light eggplant dish goes along perfectly with your favorite M&S Wine red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah. According to SFGate, “it’s the combination of the eggplant’s creamy, palate-coating texture and its skin’s slight tannin-like quality and occasional bitterness that brings it and the wine together, though other flavors in a dish can also play an important role.”
To taste the flavorful combination of an aubergine dish which will get along well with a bottle of red wine, an eggplant recipe adapted from Vegan Kitchen is provided below:
Roasted Aubergine and Tomato Relish
· 1-3 cloves of garlic
· 1 large italian tomato
· 8 kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)
· 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
· Salt to taste
· 1 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika
· 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1.Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes in medium cubes.
2.On a large baking sheet, place tomatoes and eggplants with their cut sides down. Bake them until eggplant sides turn black.
3.Put the eggplant on a plate and scoop out the flesh, removing large seeds. Toss them in a food processor along with the garlic and olives.
4.Let tomatoes sit down while you mix the eggplant. Then add them in the food processor together with the eggplant.
5.Add some cayenne pepper, salt, and vinegar to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled with some baked Pita slices.