Like tomato, cucumber and a host of other iconoclastic ingredients, aubergines are technically a berry and therefore classed as fruit. However, despite this classification the firm, meaty flesh of the aubergine can hold its own against bold savoury flavours and is a common addition to vegetarian recipes. Aubergine is eaten all over the world and there are numerous varieties in different colours and sizes ranging from white to almost black, tiny and round to large and tubular.
This collection of aubergine recipes demonstrates the fruit's versatility, and the many ways of cooking which the aubergine's springy flesh lends itself to. Salvatore Elefante gently fries aubergine before mixing it with garlic and blending it into a rich purée in his colourful tuna pasta recipe, while Fabrizio Marino uses a disc of roasted aubergine as a base for his striking Gourmet pizza. For a striking vegetarian starter recipe try the Costardi Brothers' Essential aubergine, where tender sous vide aubergine is served on top of splatters of pesto and passata.