Eggplant (Solanum melongena)

The aubergine, also known as Solanum melongena or eggplant, is a nightshade plant and a popular part of our diet. There are numerous recipes with eggplant. Typical of Mediterranean and oriental cuisine, aubergines can be used in many different ways and are relatively easy to prepare. But the aubergine can also play a role in health. However, aubergines are usually low in calories only before preparation.

Eggplant: Healthy all-rounder

There are different types, shapes and colors of eggplants. The best-known eggplant is dark purple with a round-oval shape. Aubergines  not only taste  good, they are also  said to have healing properties  .

Especially the amniotic fluid of the aubergine is said to have a positive effect on  rheumatism , sciatica and kidney diseases as well as liver function. In addition, these vegetables are said to promote digestion and have anti-cancer effects due to the  antioxidants they contain  .

Nutrition facts: How many calories do eggplants have?

The aubergine itself consists mostly of water and is therefore very low in calories: there are just 17 calories per 100 grams. It’s different after preparation: the aubergine is known for absorbing a lot of fat. It is therefore advisable to use fats and oil sparingly when preparing aubergines.

buy eggplant

Eggplants need a lot of heat to grow. Therefore, Germany imports aubergines from warm countries. Aubergines are usually harvested immature and ripen during transport. When buying fresh aubergines, you should pay attention to their texture – as a prerequisite for successful preparation according to the recipe.

Fresh aubergines have a shiny, smooth surface. The style smells fresh. If you press lightly on the shell, it gives in slightly. Unripe fruits, on the other hand, are hard and do not yield to pressure. You should avoid these because unripe aubergines contain the bitter substance solanine.

Bitter substances: This must be taken into account during preparation

The raw consumption of an aubergine is not recommended because of this bitter substance, which can cause problems with the stomach and intestines. Prolonged heating when preparing the aubergines allows the bitter substances to evaporate. Salt also removes   bitter substances from the pulp. It is best to cut the eggplant into slices, add salt and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Aubergines can be frozen raw or after preparation.

The peel of the aubergine can be removed just as easily as with tomatoes or peppers. Either in the classic way of peeling, by brewing or by grilling in the oven. To do this, grill the aubergines in the oven at 200 °C for 20 minutes. Turn the aubergines several times until the skin is black and peels off easily.

Aubergines as a casserole, mush or cream

Aubergines can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are recipes for eggplant for frying, as well as grilling. The recipe for an aubergine stuffed with minced meat is well known. Aubergines can also be marinated, baked or steamed. Just as tasty are aubergines as a casserole, with minced meat or together with  zucchini  as a Mediterranean vegetable side dish.

In Italian cuisine, eggplant and zucchini are used in antipasti or with tomatoes as ratatouille. Aubergines characterize the typical taste of the most popular Greek casserole, the moussaka. Recipes for aubergine paste or aubergine cream are more known for oriental cuisine. The creamy mush goes well with meat and vegetables or as a starter with  bread .

Because of their shape and texture, aubergines are perfect for filling and gratinating. And the preparation is very simple:  cut  the minced meat and/or vegetables (such as tomatoes, courgettes, onions ) into small pieces, mix, season and bake in the oven with cheese  .

Delicious recipes with eggplant

Aubergines can be used in numerous delicious recipes. Below you will find a small selection.

eggplant paste

Eggplant paste is great as a dip or spread.


  • 1 Aubergine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150 grams  of yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • oregano , salt

The pulp of grilled aubergines is best suited for the preparation of an aubergine paste. After grilling and removing the shell, puree the aubergines with the remaining ingredients. Then season and enjoy.

Aubergines from the tin

Aubergines can be prepared wonderfully as oven vegetables.


  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Aubergine
  • Vegetables of your choice (e.g.  mushrooms , peppers, tomatoes)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Oregano
  • olive oil

Thinly slice the aubergines and courgettes and other vegetables. In the oil, mix the crushed  garlic  with oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vegetables with it and bake everything on the tray for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees in the oven.

Aubergine au gratin with goat cheese

A special treat is aubergine gratin. The vegetables are baked with goat cheese.


  • 2 rolls of goat cheese (about 300 grams)
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil

Alternately layer the slices of cooked aubergine and goat cheese on top of each other. Season with crushed garlic and olive oil. After only five minutes of preparation in the oven at 200 degrees, this recipe is a treat for the eyes and taste.

plant eggplants

Aubergines love light and warmth. So if you want to grow aubergines in your own garden, you should choose a spot that is as sunny and sheltered from the wind as possible. The ideal way to grow an aubergine is in a greenhouse, but outdoor cultivation is also possible given the right conditions. The plants (prepared indoors) can be released from the end of May.

Eggplant plants need a lot of water. However, waterlogging should be avoided, for example if the plant is cultivated in a pot.
The aubergines can be harvested from the end of July to the beginning of October. As in the supermarket, the aubergines on the plant should give slightly when pressed with a finger. Only then are they ripe.

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