I’m almost embarrassed to call today’s recipe for marinated, grilled eggplant with herbs, a recipe. It’s more of a guide. Only the most general quantities are provided; you throw everything together and Bob’s your uncle.
Most of my summer cooking is like that. I stroll out to the garden picking a bit of this and a bit of that and before long a dish is on it’s way.
On a side note, isn’t it amazing how things that are in season at the same time combine together beautifully? Think tomatoes and basil in summer; apples and blackberries in autumn; oranges and fennel in winter; and new potatoes and peas in spring.
My recipe for marinated, grilled eggplant is inspired by the recipe for marinated zucchini in Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion (1996) and indeed, it works just as beautifully with zucchini as it does with eggplant. Stephanie suggests you use mint but any summer herbs would work well. You could try sweet basil, oregano or Italian parsley.
Stephanie’s recipe recommends red wine vinegar, but you could happily use whatever you have at hand. I have successfully used balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and even lime juice (because I have a lime tree).
- 2 good-sized eggplants (for about 10 slices, you can vary this if you like)
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
- A handful of fresh seasonal herbs such as Italian parsley, sweet basil, mint or oregano, chopped
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- An acid such as red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice -- it's up to you
- Remove stems from eggplants and slice to about 1 centimetre thick.
- Place eggplant slices on a tray or large plate and scatter with salt. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Rinse eggplant slices to remove salt and pat dry.
- Grill or shallow fry eggplant slices until brown and cooked through.
- Layer eggplant in a flat dish with herb and garlic. Dust with ground black pepper and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar of your choice.