Ideal for pots plus North African-inspired Aubergine Moussaka recipe
I love aubergines, but my family doesn’t, and this is one I want to try for next year – new introduction Genie from Burpee Europe can be grown successfully in pots.
If you’re unsure too, it’s probably because you haven’t had the right recipe – soggy ratatouille does them no justice.
As a staple of many recipes in cuisines from Europe, Asia and North Africa, aubergines are one of the most versatile fruits for cooking, and they bring a taste of the exotic to your garden and kitchen.
Large purple fruits
Genie can be grown in a large (35cm diameter) pot as well as in the soil or a grow-bag, with around eight large purple fruits (around 250g each) with a great taste.
Expect around eight good-sized, glossy fruits (of around 250g each) per plant. The absence of spines on the stems makes them easy to harvest too.
Ideal for a greenhouse or a sunny patio, aubergine Genie seeds are available exclusively from Marshalls, price £3.09 for 15 seeds.
This recipe has been created by the chef Valerie Hamelin.
North African-inspired Aubergine Moussaka
Serves 4 to 6 people
4-6 aubergines – Genie (depends on the size)
1 tin chickpeas
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 large onion
8 garlic cloves
2tsp smoked paprika
2tsp harissa spice blend
Salt & cracked pepper
Vegetable stock (optional)
Fresh mint and coriander
- Heat the oven to 190ºC, cut the aubergines lengthways and score them with olive oil, salt and pepper and smoked paprika and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- In a frying pan, add some olive oil, fry the onions until translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook until it is fragrant. Add the harissa spiced blend and the zaatar, stirring well.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and the drained chickpeas. And add the cubed cooked aubergines, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and add some vegetable stock if the mixture gets dry.
- Serve in a dish as an accompaniment with a minted yoghurt dip and flatbread.