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In Season

Eat British produce when it’s at its best. Follow our guides to what’s in season with exclusive recipes and features from the country’s top food writers...

Coming from the East, they are a sponge for flavour and soak up spices as well as oil. Striped or purple, bulbous or slender, the ‘eggplant’ is cracking, says Clarissa Hyman

Aubergines

Imam bayildi is one of the most famous Middle Eastern dishes that is made with aubergines. The name means ‘the imam fainted’, supposedly because the good gentleman passed out on learning of the amount of expensive oil it contained. Lesser- known variations include imam aggro (‘the imam became rather annoyed’), imam chunder (‘the imam was very sick’) and imam kickass (‘the imam cut off the head of the cook’). Just joking, of course, but the affinity of oil for aubergine is a serious……

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