Vegetable Fruits

This is a huge, colourful group including all the Mediterranean favourites like red, green, yellow, orange and purple (bell) peppers, aubergines (eggplants), chillies, courgettes (zucchini), all the different marrows (squashes), pumpkins, tomatoes, avocados, green and black olives and cucumbers. They are called vegetable fruits because they all contain the seeds that grow into the future generation of the plant. Many are eaten raw in salads as well as cooked in a whole variety of dishes.

To prepare and fry vegetable fruits

  1. Halve, peel, remove the seeds and any stalks, as appropriate.
  2. Cut into slices.
  3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or wok.
  4. Fry, stirring or turning, until just tender, lightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Drain on kitchen paper (paper towels), unless part of a stir-fry.

To boil vegetable fruits

  1. Prepare as for frying.
  2. Drop into boiling, lightly salted water and cook until just tender. Do not overcook. As they have a high water content, they cook quite quickly.

To steam vegetable fruits

  1. Prepare as for frying.
  2. Place in a steamer or colander over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Cover and cook until just tender.

To grill (broil) vegetable fruits

  1. Prepare as for frying but leave in halves if more suitable. Place on foil on a grill (broiler) rack and brush with oil.
  2. Cook under a hot grill until cooked through.
  3. Aubergines (eggplants) and (bell) peppers can be grilled (broiled) until the skin blackens; the skin should be peeled off before use.