Ajvar is a Serbian roasted eggplant-capsicum mixture, sometimes referred to as vegetarian caviar. It can be mashed or left chunky, depending on personal taste, and served as a relish, vegetable or spread on country-style white bread like pogacha as an appetiser. Its smoky flavour is a great match for grilled or roasted meats, especially lamb.
Category: Eggplant Recipes
The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavour. Many recipes advise salting, rinsing and draining of the sliced fruit (known as degorging), to soften it and to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking, but mainly to remove the bitterness of the earlier cultivars. Some modern varieties - including large, purple varieties commonly imported into western Europe - do not need this treatment.
A popular preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. Often, it is eaten as a dip with khubz or pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light-brown colour.
The tangy, garlic-laced yoghurt contrasts nicely with the sweet tomato sauce and tender eggplant. It’s garnished with dried mint (don’t use fresh), which you can find in the spice section of a supermarket or in a Middle Eastern market.
Eggplants are a very common vegetable in the Mediterranean, particularly in Spain. This eggplant dish is great to serve as a tapa or a side dish, especially in spring and summer. It is the perfect make-ahead dish that you can take out a few minutes before serving.
Eggplant can be great on the barbecue. It can also be overcooked and flavourless or undercooked with a soggy spongy texture. This easy recipe uses the power of salt water to guarantee great grilled eggplant — crispy brown on the outside, creamy sweet on the inside, and full of flavour — every time.
Hot and numbing refers to a style of dishes featuring the spicy, aromatic and tongue-tingling Sichuan pepper. This recipe has the heat toned down and balanced out with malty black vinegar, sugar and ginger, and uses dried shiitake to produce a deliciously earthy sauce.