* 2 medium purple aubergines
* For the dressing
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 4 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
* 3 tablespoons sweet chilli dipping sauce
* 2 teaspoons sesame oil
* 1 lemon , zest and juice of
* 4 spring onions , sliced
* 2 fresh red chillies , finely chopped
* 1 large handful fresh coriander , roughly sliced
* 1 large handful fresh basil , roughly sliced
* 1 large handful fresh mint , roughly sliced
* 1 large handful yellow celery leaves
* sea salt
* freshly ground black pepper
This is a great way to cook aubergines, and probably one that not a lot of people would think of doing. To me, steamed aubergine sounds horrible but, believe me, this recipe is fantastic. Aubergines are usually fried or roasted, which makes them soak up loads of oil, but steaming means they go really soft and tender so that they’re lighter to eat – which means you can eat a lot more! All round the world there are so many different varieties of aubergines – long, round, purple, green – so keep your eyes peeled and try cooking them all.
Put some water in a pan and bring it to the boil. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and place them in your steamer with the cut side facing up. Steam them for about 10 minutes – to check whether they’re ready, simply squeeze the sides gently and if they’re silky soft then they’re done. Remove them from the steamer, place them in a colander and leave to cool.
Now make your dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. When the aubergines are warm this is the perfect time to flavour them. Cut them up into rough 2.5cm dice, then dress them and toss. Serve immediately as a salad, tapas dish or as a vegetable next to any simple cooked fish. Just really tasty!