Aubergine (also known as Eggplant) is full of flavour and at its fleshy best from early spring right to the end of October. You'll mostly find a deep purple variety on grengrocery aisles  in the UK, but they also come in stripy and white varieties - and work brilliantly with the bold flavours of the Middle East. Here's a roundup of tasty aubergine recipes for starters, salads, snacks and mains we think you'll love, as well as some general tips for preparing and cooking this quirky vegetable.

Aubergine and Chickpea Salad (vegetarian)

Aubergine Recipes: Chickpea Salad

This vegetarian recipe is ideal for summer gatherings. If you don't fancy chickpeas, try using cannellini beans or canned butter beans instead.

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Flatbread with Houmous, Aubergine and Pomegranate (vegetarian)

Aubergine Recipes: Houmous Flatbread

Make your own houmous then serve it on flatbreads, scattered with griddled aubergines and jewel-like pomegranate seeds.

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How To Prepare Aubergine

Don’t prepare your aubergine until the last minute - the flesh will discolour once cut into (a squeeze of lemon juice can help prevent this, if needed). Aubergine soaks up oil during cooking, which is fine for a lot of recipes. To stop it absorbing quite so much, sprinkle the cut veg with salt, or blanch first for a healthier option.

How To Cook Aubergine

Boiling can make the flesh watery so try grilling, roasting or frying instead. Cook slowly on the hob for a ratatouille, or pan-fry slices in oil for a Spanish tapas favourite. The soft flesh is a great alternative to meat in a veggie curry, too. Grill until the skin is blackened, or roast and mix the flesh with herbs to make the Middle Eastern dip, baba ganoush.

Aubergine and Mince Bake

Aubergine Recipes: Mince Bake

Fancy a change from lasagne? This moussaka style bake is a great option. Make it in advance and put it in the freezer for an easy family meal.

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Aubergine and Mozzarella Wraps (vegetarian)

Aubergine Recipes: Wraps

Aubergines are at their best barbecued - and it's the easiest way to cook them. You'll love the hot, oozing mozzarella in these Italian-inspired wraps.

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