When you think of your favourite vegetables chances are that the eggplant doesn't feature very high on your list. After all, it's not got a particularly exciting flavour and its texture's nothing to write home about either, right? Wrong! And that massively undersells its other key feature, too: it's brilliant at absorbing other flavours and creating a soft and unctuous vehicle for them. That's why it's so popular in everything from Indian curries to the menu classic at most Greek takeaways, moussaka. Save yourself from overlooking the eggplant and see how delicious it is in these four dishes.
1. Eggplant & Halloumi Salad - The Servery
Middle Eastern cuisine uses eggplant extensively in everything from dips like baba ganoush to tajine-style stews. But here's a more unusual use of the vegetable – in a salad. At The Servery they've created a fusion of Moroccan and Greek styles by bringing together eggplant that has been coated in typical spices like cinnamon and allspice and roasted till tender. Then it's added to grilled halloumi cheese which provides a taste and texture contrast, with nutty chickpeas on the side. For a final touch, and to add an Italian element, there's also a tangy balsamic glaze.
2. Bringal Masala - Dtandoor
The ability of eggplant to take on other flavours after slow and careful cooking comes to the fore in this spicy delight from Dtandoor. Chunks of the vegetable are gently simmered in the rich masala sauce which has a tomato base infused with typical Indian spices to create a curry with many layers of flavour within it. Long, slow cooking allows the sauce to thicken and become more complex – perfect for enjoying with one of the restaurant's home made naan breads or a tandoori roti.
3. Eggplant Parmigiana - Mamma Linas
For Italian cooking like mamma used to make there's just one place in Perth to head for: Mamma Linas. As well as fantastic pastas and risottos the menu also features typical meat dishes like their Eggplant Parmigiana, an amazing combination of tastes and textures. At its heart is a chicken breast escalope with a crunchy breadcrumb coating. This is smothered in a classic Napolina tomato sauce, slices of soft, roasted eggplant and thick, melted mozzarella. There's so much going on that it's a meal in itself but it's even better with their rocket and pear salad on the side.
4. Moussaka - Stalactites Greek Restaurant
Many kinds of moussaka feature minced lamb but here's a more unusual example that uses prime minced beef instead. In one of the most famous dishes ever to have come out of Greece, layers of rich meat sauce, potatoes and eggplant are topped with creamy béchamel sauce and baked until golden and bubbling. All we can say is that at Stalactites they've got making the dish down to a fine art.
Enjoy the ultimate eggplant experience yourself and let Deliveroo bring it right to you, right now.