A Dish Fit for a Princess

A Dish Fit for a Princess

Aubergines are full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and I believe they have the potential to lower cholesterol and help one manage their weight, they are so versatile and they can be used in salads, stews and any way you choose to cook them. Aubergines along with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers belong to the same family, the nightshade family.

Whether they have a deep purple shiny skin or an orange red or white one, what lies beneath the skin is a cream coloured delicious flesh. The flesh is spongy and sucks up oil so it is a good idea to salt them before cooking to collapse the membranes, this prevents them taking on too much oil when you are cooking them.

Aubergines are a wonderful source of dietary fibre and they are also low in fat so they are a great veggie for diabetics. They are also a good source of vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium, and to top it they are high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese.

When buying them, make sure that the skin is tight and glossy, without any scars or discolouration. They should always feel firm and heavy for their size, this ensures that they are fresh.

Im told that aubergines contain significant amounts of oxalate, anyone with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid eating too many of them. Im so happy I don’t have that problem, they are my favourite vegetable!

Let’s Cook!!

Aubergine Parmigiana

There’s nothing like a delicious plate of comfort food after a trying day. Warm, hearty and wholesome,

Pesto Princess’s Aubergine Parmigiana is not only delicious, but it’s filled with nutritious fresh ingredients too. Ideal for vegetarians and perfect for cold nights, this dish will have everyone going back for seconds!

You’ll need:

3 medium to large aubergines, cut length ways into 2 cm slices

Olive oil

1 jar Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

2 tsp garlic, crushed

2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves picked

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

880 g passata or canned pureed tomatoes

½ cup fresh basil leaves + extra for garnish

½ cup parmesan, freshly grated

200 g mozzarella cheese, grated

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Drizzle olive oil onto a baking tray and arrange the sliced aubergine. You

might need to use two trays or make this in two batches.

  1. Spread a thin layer of Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto on each slice of aubergine before cooking in the oven for 12-15 minutes. You want the eggplant to be cooked and tender, but still slightly firm to retain its shape. Remove from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 180°C.
  2. While the aubergines are cooking, start with the sauce. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onions and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, oregano and vinegar and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the passata, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes before adding fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Once your aubergines and sauce are ready, you can assemble the dish. In a medium oven-proof baking dish, spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the base, sprinkle with parmesan then top with a layer of eggplant. Repeat until all the ingredients are used, ending with a layer of sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan and all of the grated mozzarella.
  4. Bake until the eggplant mixture is bubbly and the cheese crispy, 30 to 45 minutes depending on size of pan and thickness of layers. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a simple salad and fresh ciabatta rolls.