Aubergines Masséna

The vegetable market

This is a recipe for a vegetable terrine to accompany white or red meat. Garden vegetables featured prominently at banquets as part of the starter (hors d'oeuvres) and side dishes (entremets) courses. The king of the crop was the green bean, followed by asparagus, carrots, peas and turnips. In the early 19th century, the tomato made its appearance, travelling up the Rhône and being sold on Parisian market stalls as exotic produce. The potato quickly won popularity in the North and East of France, but had much greater difficulty winning over the South. While Parisian tables welcomed it occasionally as a novel taste experience, country folk south of the Loire did not want to know, even hesitating to feed it to their livestock in case it was “bad for them”. Half a century had to elapse before the potato claimed its victory, dethroning the green bean in the number of recipes in which it featured in cookery manuals.


4 large aubergines, deseeded
2 good sized courgettes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large onions, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes
100g green beans
50g Swiss chard
50g spinach
3 eggs
100g parmesan
1-4 tbsp olive oil
Fresh parsley

Period Recipe

Chop the aubergines into 8 equal parts lengthways. Scoop out the flesh using a tablespoon until there is hardly any left on the skin. Arrange the scooped-out aubergines on an oven-proof stoneware or metal dish and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Next, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, thoroughly blanch the aubergine flesh, courgettes, onions, Swiss chard, spinach and beans, mixing everything together as it cooks. When this mixture has been thoroughly blanched, strain through a colander (reserving the cooking liquid) without allowing to cool. Press out the cooking liquid, turn contents onto a board and chop finely. Put this chopped vegetable mixture into a terrine and work in 100g breadcrumbs, the chopped flesh of two tomatoes, 40g chopped parsley, 100g parmesan, the 3 eggs whisked together, and 4 chopped anchovy fillets. Season with salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, and three spoonfuls of olive oil. When the mixture is ready, use it to stuff the aubergine skins to form a domed heap from end to end. Sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs and the rest of the parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, cover with greased paper and bake slowly in a relatively hot oven, basting them from time to time with the cooking liquid. Cooking time: 30 min.Anne-Marie Nisbet, Victor-André Massena, L'Empire à table, Paris : Adam Biro, 1988

Bon appetit


Type of Recipe