The siren of the nightshade family

Grilled eggplant slices

I couldn’t resist the piles of eggplants mounded up in front of all the vendor stalls at the Trenton Farmers’ Market this morning.  Although they weren’t on the “shopping list” I knew I wasn’t going home without one.

Low in calories, high in dietary fiber and containing a decent amount of vitamins, eggplants are common in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.  Too often, they are integrated and decorated with too many other ingredients that mask the character of the fruit (botanically, actually a berry).   I like it prepared all kinds of ways; as the featured performer in a dish or part of the background chorus in a recipe.

Once lunch time rolled around, I knew what I was going to do with the big purple-black beauty sitting on the counter.  Grill it!

 

I sliced my eggplant about ½ inch thick…leaving the skin on makes the slices easier to handle.  Seasoned and oiled the slices and then grilled them.  The skin will show some char, the top and bottom surfaces will show grill marks and be a little crispy, while the flesh in the middle will be soft, almost custardy.  The eggplant will have taken on the flavors of the oil and whatever seasonings you apply.

Serve the slices solo or as an accompaniment. 

Grilled Eggplant

  • 1 large, fresh eggplant.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Get a grill preheating to medium high heat.

Cut the very ends off of the eggplant.

Cut crosswise in ½ inch thick slices.

Salt both sides of each slice lightly. (I used a specialty salt that is mixed with pieces of dried chili from Chilli Peppers, a restaurant in Kill Devil Hills, NC)

Brush with some olive oil, again on both sides. Be careful to not brush off the salt and any seasonings.

Place slices on preheated grill.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side.  Splash with a bit of balsamic vinegar if desired.  Serve.

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One Response to “The siren of the nightshade family”

  1. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan « Dj'eat? Says:

    […] I’m so fond of just simply grilling eggplant, I figured you could make a decent eggplant parmesan that way. Last summer, I came up with a […]

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