If you peel the aubergine, cut it in strips and cook it with lemon and tahin, you can get a soup that competes with a creamy soup of asparagus -- I am still trying to get that recipe right. I am also perfecting a dish with minced meat and a red sauce. My wife has some good results with softening the cubed eggplant in the microwave. So there is lots to come.
The easiest way to begin getting the aubergine right is by using the oven or the grill. Without additions, aubergine at high temperatures, turns soft, liquid even, if given enough time. The flavor is sharp and pleasantly scorched. The softened eggplant makes for an excellent basis of pastes, sauces and stews. I'll give two of them here.
Take an aubergine and cut it lengthwise in half. Cover the halves with tinfoil and burn them at 200 degrees for about an hour. (This depends on the power of the oven and the size and toughness of the plants. Large and tough needs more time and power.) After this treatment, you can scoop the liquid out of the peel. Mix it with garlic, a little tahin, lemon and pepper for a traditional middle-eastern side dish. Last night though I made two other side dishes.
- Mix with oil, lemon, salt and pepper. (Burnt Aubergine, חציל על האש)
- Mix with half a spoon of mayonnaise and ground black pepper. (Baba 'Anush)