These braised aubergines bring you directly to the Mediterranean coastline. The lovely soft texture from the braised aubergines, together with the acidity from the toppings, and the caramelised sugar and balsamic vinegar. Scattered with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts a great lunch with some bread to dip into these lovely juices, or have it as a main meal by adding some linguine to it.
I love this dish because of it's great balance of flavours. Tangy, sweet, smokey, and herby. A true Mediterranean gem. Aubergines are a great vegetable to cook with in the vegan kitchen. It is the texture that makes the great difference.
pre-salting or not...
There are many different opinions on salting or not salting your aubergines. Every chef has his or her reason for doing so, or for skipping it. I normally tend to skip it. Pre-salting was always done to extract the bitterness out of the fruit (yes, aubergine is a fruit). But nowadays the bitterness has been bred out of the aubergines. So there is no need to pre-salt them any more. Unless you want to extract water from the aubergine before cooking. In this particular recipe I wouldn't do so, keeping the water in the aubergine helps the braising process.
There are some delicious aubergine dishes to be found on my website. Like the Roasted aubergine with cauliflower rice, or in a complete different style the Moroccan Zaalouk, or Chinese spiced aubergine. All very different, and all very delicious!!
What to drink with braised aubergines...
If you serve this dish (sweet and sour profile) as a main dish I would go for a medium to full bodied oaked red. A Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch would work. But you might want to stay within the region and pair with an Italian red. A Barbaresco (Nebbiolo), or a Valpolicella. If you serve this dish as a light lunch I would definitely go for a Rose, maybe a Sangiovese rose, to keep it within Italy.
Of course this recipe is great for adjusting to your liking. Be creative! and Let me know how you went in comments below. Don't forget to add @haricoco1 if you post your creation to Instagram. Enjoy!
This Aubergine recipe is part of my new series; 'Travels of taste'. We use our taste buds to travel the world and discover the use of our senses and imaginations to meet other cultures through food. So today we find ourselves around the Mediterranean. If you are ready to imagine yourself travelling around the Mediterranean while sensing its salty air & hot summers and tasting its incredible variety of fresh food. Check out my full Mediterranean 'travels of taste' post; >>> The Med; Olive oil, herbs & fresh produce.