The beauty of nature
Eggplant, or aubergine as it is called in France, is a super-model vegetable when you see it on the shelf. Its deep purple colour, its glossy skin, and its firm oval form make it an item of aesthetic fascination.
Unfortunately, its beauty is always inescapably sacrificed for the banal reason of eating. Oven, pot, or pan - within minutes all the prettiness dissolves into something mushy and squashy.
But your guests will not bemoan the disrespect of nature's beauty as long as you comfort them with a really creative recipe.
You must remember this
A raw eggplant can be unfit for consumption. As a member of the nightshade family this pretty vegetable bears a soupçon of a poison named solanine when it is not really ripe and not yet cooked. So, please, never use it for a raw vegetable salad. It wouldn't add much taste anyhow since eggplant's main impact on the taste buds is a slight bitterness.
But eggplants are highly adaptable and eager to bear a sauce, take the middle position in a moussaka, humble themselves to a supporting role in a ratatouille, or gratefully end their existence in a chutney or a dip. Whisk and chopping attachment of the Braun Multiquick 5 hand blender will help you a lot with all these jobs.
Taste so good
You find eggplant in cuisines from Japan to Spain. It is quite common in the Mediterranean kitchen since the plant needs warm temperatures to grow. That's why most known recipes were discovered in warm regions of the world.
In India, aubergines appear often in chutneys and curries. Famous in Arab, but also in several other countries around the Mediterranean Sea, is a delicious spread called Baba Ghanoush. It's a purée made from the pulp of roasted aubergines mixed with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil - and maybe some herbs you want to throw into your Braun Multiquick 5 chopper. The result is usable as a dip for vegetables, as a sandwich filling, or spread on pita bread.
Let them sweat
Many recipes bring aubergines into close contact with olive oil, for instance the famous Melanzane alla Parmigiana. Generally speaking, you make slices of aubergines and fry them in a pan with some Parmesan cheese.
But there's a trick to this simple recipe: You are supposed to sprinkle some salt over the slices and let them sweat for about 20 minutes before you rinse the salt off again. This takes out some of the water, moderates the bitterness, and reduces the eggplant's capability to soak in the olive oil used in cooking.