“Is that how we speak German?” – Dirk, one of my smartest German friends, makes an ironic comment.
“Where did you hear that they are called Melanzani?»
“I do not know” – I feel a little bit timid. “It is always written this way on the price tags in stores here in Vienna…”
“How do you call them in German?” – I try to be polite to show my interest.
“Auberginen” – Dirk corrects my German romantically and with a French aspiration.
Native German word, although is different. Eiefrucht (literally: an egg shape fruit).
These are all names for eggplants which are affectionately called little blues in Southern Russia and Ukraine.
The generic botanic family name “melongena” is derived from the Sanskrit “vatin ganah”.
Aubergines or eggplants have been cultivated since ancient times in South-East Asia and India. The plant is mentioned in the ancient Chinese agricultural treatise Kimin Yaoshu already in 544. In Russia eggplant likely was brought by Turkish merchants in the 17th century, the name baklazhan was also taken from them, the eggplants in Turkish called patlydzhan.
5 interesting facts about the eggplants:
* Eggplant is a berry, not a vegetable, as it is often assumed.
* Due to the low content of fat, protein and sugar it is a dietary product and is ideal for those who wants to lose weight.
* In Asia it is called the longevity vegetable, thanks to the high content of vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, bioflavonoids it has beneficial effect on the functioning and health of the cardio – vascular system, remove the bad cholesterol and strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
* Its purple color eggplant obliged to nasunin, a powerful antioxidant that also has anti-angiogenic (anti-cancer) effects.
* Eggplant contains more than 90% water, and it loses a lot of weight and volume, when it is cooked.
Baked eggplants with tomato and olives salad recipe.
Ingredients (3-4 servings)
- Eggplants – 1-2 pcs
- Tomato – 3-4 pcs
- Shallot – 1 pcs medium size
- Olives – 7-9 pcs
- Garlic – 1-3 cloves
- Olive oil – 1-2 T sp
- Lemon juice – 1-2 T sp
- Powder of black pepper 1/4 t sp
- Dill, parsley, coriander – several springs
- Pimenton – 1/3 t sp
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoring the flesh with knife, cutting it crosswise but not through the skin, sprinkle with salt and leave halves for 10 – 30 minutes to let it juice. This is to remove the bitterness in the eggplant taste. However, if the eggplant is young or you have time constrains you can skip this step. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
Rinse eggplant under water to remove salt and juice, place them in the preheated oven on the bake paper and bake for about 20 – 30 minutes at 180 ° C (time depends on the eggplant size and oven type ).
Rinse other ingredients, peel the onion and garlic. Chop tomatoes into medium-sized cubes, slice onion in thin rings, finely chop garlic and fresh herbs.
When the eggplants are done (you can check it by piercing the flesh with a fork or a thin wooden stick), remove them from the oven, place in a bowl and let sit for a little under the lid. Upon cooling the peel can be easily removed.
You do not like to wait? Take out the flesh with a table spoon or just use the eggplant with the peel as it in fact contains this healthy nasunin.
Baked eggplant cut into medium-sized cubes, sprinkle with lemon juice, add the minced herbs and garlic, mix well and place in a salad bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, olives, toss with peppers, pimenton and vegetable oil. Mix the salad well again.
The recipe tastes wonderful with warm eggplant as well as a cold dish.
Tip. Baked eggplant is an ideal base for numerous dishes. I cut them , for example, into pieces and serve with herbs and lemon juice, or add them into sandwiches.