Grilled EggplantThis delicious appetizer or side dish is made with juicy grilled eggplant, tomato, basil and more. The eggplant is sliced thickly and grilled to perfection. You can use a gas grill or a charcoal grill for this recipe, but make sure the grill is nice and hot before adding the eggplant, so it cooks well. If you want to get grill marks on the eggplant slices, turn them only once on each side. Grill marks do not affect the flavor but they can make your grilled vegetable recipe look extra appealing.
The basil tomato salsa is sandwiched between the eggplant slices and this is made with tomatoes, onion, basil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. This simple, non-spicy salsa recipe has a fresh flavor which goes beautifully with the eggplant. If you want to add some zing, you can add some minced jalapeno (or even a splash of hot sauce) to the salsa, but that is your choice.
Make the stacks whatever size you want, but using three eggplant slices and two teaspoons of salsa per stack works well. You might choose to use fresh thyme sprigs to secure the stacks or you might prefer fresh rosemary. If you do not want to do this, toothpicks will also hold them together or you can omit those as well. Garnish the dish however you like. Balsamic vinegar is nice to drizzle on the plates because its sweet flavor echoes the sweetness from the eggplant and the salsa and it also looks decorative on the plate.
A Quick Grilling Tip
Your grill is going to benefit from the use of oil on it. What many people do not realize is that having a well oiled grill is going to help to prevent items from sticking and deliver a better result with the sear marks that appear on your food. What you are going to find that in the case of lean meats, you are going to also see an increase in the amount of items that stick to the grill. Applying cooking oil is going to be an effective way to do this. Keep in mind that if you try to spray this with cooking spray you can have a fire or exploding can. Your best choice is going to be to take a paper towel and soak it in vegetable oil. Then with a pair of tongs, you are going to run it over the grill. In just a matter of moments, you are going to have a better cooking surface.
- 2 lbs eggplant
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- Black pepper, to taste
- Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
- 2 cups chopped, peeled, de-seeded tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Combine the salsa ingredients and set the salsa to one side so the flavors can blend.
- Slice the eggplant into ⅓ inch thick slices.
- Stir the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Brush this mixture over both sides of the eggplant slices.
- Grill the eggplant slices for about 12 minutes, or until they are juicy and tender.
- Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over your serving plates.
- Stack the eggplant slices with the salsa and skewer each stack with a sprig of thyme, if you like.
- Serve the grilled eggplant stacks on the balsamic vinegar-drizzled plates.
MiaBella Balsamic Vinegar
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This gourmet eggplant recipe shows you how to transform a couple of humble eggplants into a colorful feast. The eggplant is flavored with garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and moistened with olive oil. It is then grilled until pliable and tender, and served with a fresh-flavored basil and tomato salsa recipe. This is such an easy recipe to make and if you are grilling meat or chicken, you might as well add some eggplant slices to the grill too, and make this unique and impressive eggplant side dish recipe. It looks good, smells good, and tastes beautiful.
Originally Published in Our Issue Issue #1 May 31, 2011 Newsletter
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