Initiation – I use this blog as my own personal log – and I find myself coming here frequently to check on my own recipe favorites. AND people who participate in my culinary experiments always ask me for the recipes. I’m sharing some of my classics.
This one is absolutely amazing. I modified it a bit from a cook book called Italian kitchen based on my several decades long experience grilling eggplant.
- 2 Large eggplants or 8 smaller eggplants
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided into 2 1/2 cup portions)
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
- salt and pepper
Selecting and Preparing the Eggplant – You can use large eggplant and slice it about 1/2 inch thick or use the more narrow ones and quarter it. This recipe calls for two large eggplants or you can use 8 small ones and quarter them.
Sweating the Eggplant – At french cooking school, we were told that if you get eggplant fresh from your garden there is no need to salt it prior to using it to remove the bitterness. Seeing that I would only get eggplant from my garden for several weeks of the year, my practice is to start any recipe requiring eggplant, to “sweat” the eggplant FIRST. To sweat the eggplant, after you slice or quarter it, sprinkle it with a little salt. You will see it start to sweat. Dab off the sweat with a paper towel. Flip it over and salt the other side. Again, dab off the sweat with a paper towel. It’s now ready to use.
Marinating the Eggplant
Brush the eggplant with olive oil – use a good brand. It makes a huge difference. Let sit for about a half hour.
I make my dressings at least an hour before use because it give the ingredients time to blend. For this dressing, you need 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, the grated peel and juice of one lemon, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint, dash of pepper and salt.
Put the eggplant on the grill and cook until it is soft and translucent.
Cover the grilled eggplant with the dressing. Serve immediately.
Monitor and Control
This is an eat it as it comes off the grill item. This very rarely makes it into the kitchen.
Make sure to make the dressing ahead of time before you put the eggplant on the grill.