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Aubergines with Mint Salsa

While the aubergine (eggplant) was never a favorite vegetable of mine growing up, I never tire of eating it now. Some say it originated from India where it grew wild, but early written accounts from a 5th century Chinese record on agriculture called the Ts’i Min Yao Shu indicate its cultivation in China. Europe got a hold of it during the Middle Ages by the Moors where it soon became popular. By the 18th century, both the French and the Italians cultivated eggplant, which they called aubergine. Other names for eggplant are melongene or brinjal. Thomas Jefferson, (an experimental botanist), introduced eggplant to the United States in 1806.

It’s part of the nightshade family of veggies (tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes) and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Eggplant is a good meat substitute which makes it attractive to vegetarians. Although eggplant is bland in flavor, it soaks up flavors of accompanying foods, herbs, and spices like a sponge, much like tofu.

Serves 4
adapted from Woman & Home

3 medium aubergines, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) slices
2 tablespoons olive oil

200g (7oz.) cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
small bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
pinch sugar

Mix all the salsa ingredients together. Season and set aside for the flavors to develop. Heat a griddle pan or bbq. Season the aubergine slices with salt and brush with the oil. Cook in batches for 2 to 3 minutes each side until charred and soft. Arrange on a plate and spoon over the salsa. Leave for 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Wow! Fresh and gorgeous flavors coming from this dish! If you’re not a fan of aubergine, you just might be after tasting this dish. Enjoy!

3 Responses to Aubergines with Mint Salsa

  1. Kalyn August 29, 2011 at 22:58 #

    Love the sound of this one!

  2. Stephen August 30, 2011 at 15:39 #

    This looks sooo good. I have fresh mint growining in the garden and like you I have aquired a true love of aubergine.

  3. The Culinary Chase August 30, 2011 at 20:14 #

    Thanks Kalyn and Stephen! Super easy and loads of flavor. Cheers!