So I've had a bit of a revelation. Aubergine is not gross.
I don't know why I avoided the purple veggie for so long. Maybe I wasn't mature enough for its distinct texture, or maybe it's emoji connotations had put me off. Either way, aubergine was never on my radar as far as produce went. That was until about 6 months ago.
Exploring new vegetables has been a huge part of my vegan journey. I used to be super picky about which veg I would eat and which ones I would avoid with a passion. Slimy textures put me off, over-powering greenness put me off, difficult cooking or a lack of creativity put me off even more. But once I turned to aa plant-based diet, all of these food fears vanished. I realised the potential of vegetables as the star of the show, rather than a side dish. I learnt the best way to cook them to bring out their flavour and which herbs and spices complimented them best.
Aubergine was amongst these veggies. I no longer fear its purple complexion and actually look forward to the days when aubergine is on the menu.
I tried this aubergine bacon recipe this weekend alongside a hearty brunch cooked up for me and my partner. With all the flavour, texture and pleasure of bacon; without the cruelty, class one carcinogens and heart clogging grease. What's not to love?
Half of a large aubergine made lots for 2 people so you can easily make this in a large quantity for more people.
1/2 an Aubergine ( for 2 people)
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon garlic granules
1 Teaspoon smoky paprika (I definitely recommend smoky paprika over normal as it adds a lot the bacon flavour but you could use liquid smoke if you have it and use normal paprika instead)
Pinch of Salt
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees fan.
- Cut the aubergine into 1cm strips lengthways, use a mandolin if you have one but cutting it should be fine. Leave some whole and half the other down the centre for thinner, crispier strips.
- Add maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic granules and paprika into a bowl and mix together.
- Add the aubergine into the bowl and make sure each slice gets coated. Leave for a few minutes. You should have some marinade left once the aubergine is removed, keep hold of this.
- Lay aubergine on a baking tray, use a silicone baking sheet if you have one, but otherwise baking paper will do fine.
- Cook for 20 mins, taking the aubergine out to flip halfway through and coat with the leftover marinade.
- The 'bacon' should be crispy in some places and soft in others.
- Eat alongside your brunch or in a sandwich.
I hope you've enjoyed this recipe, if you make it please tag me with @minimallucy and #minimallucy so I can share it!