The key to a good diet is variety – of taste, flavour, texture, cooking method and colour. All dark food contains anthocyanins: research indicates these are anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, good for eyesight and the immune system. Purple food, from lilac potatoes and broccoli to claret-hued carrots (their original colour), Brussels sprouts, blueberries, grapes and red cabbage, is part of this healthy range. My favourite purple food is aubergine or, as the yanks call it, eggplant, as early versions were small, cream coloured and egg-shaped.
Another method I use to cook aubergine is to slice it thinly on a mandoline, then lay the strips on a baking pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Season and roast/bake on a high heat (200c) for 5 or 6 minutes. This produces ‘aubergine crackling’: soft tongues of mousse with crunchy salty violet rind.
Aubergine fries (berenjenas a la cordobesa)
Georgian rolls (Nigvziani Badrijani)
This is good as a starter or canapés, or as part of a meze. Take time to slice the aubergines; it’s easiest if you have an adjustable mandolin.
2 red peppers
2 large aubergines, sliced lengthways, 1/2 cm wide.