The round Violetta di Firenze, Violetta Lunga di Napoli, thè long Violetta di Rimini, Lunga Nera di Chioggia and Black Beauty are just some of the many varieties of aubergine whose names are inspired by the deep, brilliant colour of the skin of this vegetable, originally from India. Lesser known, but equally good, is the white aubergine. When preparing aubergines it is not always necessary to sprinkle them with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Modern varieties do not usually contain bitter juices. However, salting makes their flavour more delicate and helps to reduce the amount of oil they will absorb. In case of doubt, follow the instructions given in the recipe.
QUANTITIESAllow about 200 g/7 oz per serving, according to the recipe. BOILINGAubergines are not boiled, but they are sliced, then blanched in water and vinegar before being pre-served in oil. SWEATINGCook in a frying pan over a low heat with garlic, oil, salt and diced tomatoes. This takes about 20 minutes.
AUBERGINE CAVIAR QUANTITIES AND COOKING TIMES CAVIALE DI MELANZANEServes 43 auberginesjuice of 1 lemon, strained6 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper sliced tomatoes, to garnish buttered toast, to serveSlice off and discard the ends of the aubergines, then cook in salted, boiling water until! very tender. Tip into a colander and leave to drain so that they lose as much water as possible, but do not allow them to cool completely. Peel the aubergines, place the flesh in a bowl and mash with a potato masher, Alternatively, pass the flesh through a food mill into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and leave to cool. Garnish with tomato slices and serve with buttered toast. Aubergine caviar keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.