Although previously denying the fact I am a vegetarian, i sometimes really have to remind myself that I enjoy meat and similarly have to remember to incorporate it into my diet to ensure I am gaining the full benefits of meat. However, as I have mentioned I love all vegetables so could find it quite easy to become vegetarian.
One vegetable i have found a recent love for is the Aubergine or known to some as the ‘Eggplant’. There’s something about it’s deep, dark, glossy exterior and unique taste that has made me experiment with my recent dishes, resulting in my current recipe a Mediterranean themed aubergine stew.
The aubergine is closely related to the tomato and pepper family, which helped me device the basis of this dish. The lovely guys from Fragata, a speciality spanish food brand were also kind enough to send me some bites to experiment with which complemented this dish perfectly.
So, in terms of nutritional qualities the aubergine holds many health benefits playing a special role in the prevention of of serious conditions. When consumed regularly, the aubergine can be used as a useful treatment and prevention of colon cancer due to the high levels of fibre contained. Due to this high level of fibre (you know what’s coming) eggplant aids in weight loss by helping us feel fuller for longer and digesting slowly. And finally, as aubergine contains high levels of water, this helps in the maintenance of healthy glowing skin tone.
As mentioned, this stew uses a range of complimentary ingredients which brings out the Mediterranean flavours of the dish. In terms of convenience of this dish, the most time consuming part is the preparation of the dish which takes 10 minutes maximum, then the rest just let the magic of the stewing method work.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 30-40 minutes
2 tblspn olive oil
1 red onion
4 garlic (crushed)
1 tbslpn mixed spice
1 medium chilli
2 tbslpn balsamic vinegar
1 tin chopped tomatos
1/2 tin water
5-10 Fragata Caperberries
1/2 jar Fragata Pimento Piquollo Peppers
S&P to season
1. In a large pan heat olive oil. Add your aubergine chunks and season with a little salt and toss around so aubergine is coated in the oil. Cook on a high heat for around 4 or 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then.
2. When the aubergines are golden on each side, add the diced onion, crushed garlic and mixed spice and cooke for another couple of minutes. Add a little water if the pan becomes too dry.
3. Add the balsamic vinegar add cook down until reduced, then add the tomatoes and additional water and simmer 15 minutes. Throw in the drained capers, olives, roasted red pepper and chilli and cook further for 15 minutes until aubergine becomes tender.
4. Season and taste before serving and throw in a bunch of spinach to add additional nutrients and colour to your dish. Serve with a side of cous-cous or quinoa. Enjoy! Fx