The girls are home for the weekend and before we picked them up this afternoon, Speedy and I passed by the supermarket. There were bags and bags of gorgeous eggplants — over a foot long, over two inches thick and the skins a glistening purple. I thought about Sam so I picked a bag of what looked to be the best eggplants in the vegetable section.
When we got home, I started making dinner — baby back ribs with broiled potatoes and grilled eggplants.
If you’ve grilled eggplants before, you might have had the same experience as mine. While grilling whole unpeeled eggplants isn’t so problematic, if the eggplants are sliced, the exposed flesh has a tendency to stick to the grill. While lightly brushing the grill with oil is an effective trick, the better practice is to toss the sliced eggplants in olive oil. And while you’re at it, season the eggplants too and flavor them with herbs.
You can do the same trick when grilling potatoes. Slice, toss in the olive oil mixture and grill. The potatoes in the photo were oven grilled and that’s why there are no grill marks on them. I put them on the lower rack of the oven during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time of the baby back ribs. Save power, you know, by cooking two things in the oven at the same time.
If I weren’t so worried about overcrowding the oven, I’d have grilled the eggplants there too. But that would have meant moving the baby back ribs to the top rack and that might have burned them. So, the eggplants went on the stovetop grill.
I prepared the eggplants; Speedy did the meat.
- 5 to 6 eggplants (mine were about 14 inches long and 2 to 3 inches thick)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil (or whatever herb or herbs you prefer)
Cut off the tops of the eggplants, cut them in half horizontally then slice each half vertically into three. Place them in a shallow bowl.
Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the eggplants. Toss them until all the eggplants are coated with oil. Keep tossing until the eggplants have absorbed all the oil.
Heat the grill (we used a stovetop grill). Lightly brush the grill with olive oil. Grill the sliced eggplants over medium-high heat until charred marks appear on the flesh. This should take about three minutes on the first side plus another minute and a half or so after flipping them.