The aubergine is as exotic as it sounds. Originally coming from Burma, they travelled with Arab traders to Spain and then on to Britain. The Americans call them eggplants, because the first variety in their country had smaller white or yellow egg-shaped fruit. We have purple ones, which make them very useful if you are trying to eat the rainbow.
Try halving an aubergine lengthways, rubbing with oil and a little salt and roasting for 30-40 mins, until soft and caramelised. It's as sweet as aubergine gets! Top the roasted aubergines with sauces, bolognese, cheese, or your favourite toppings. Or peel and blitz with some oil, lemon juice and garlic (and optional tahini or peanut butter) to make a delicious aubergine dip.
To store aubergine, just pop them in the fridge. They will keep well for 4 or 5 days.
To prep, just slice off the green tops. You can peel if you like (some children prefer it without the skin), or leave the skins on.