You’ll go to these recipes again and again for as long as it’s eggplant season
Grilled eggplant is a summer favorite for good reason: It’s one of the most satisfying of summer vegetables to cook and eat. And while eggplant shines when it’s prepared on a grill, you won’t want to miss out on these eggplant meatballs, either. Read on for more.
Grilled or Roasted Eggplant Dip
Makes: 6 to 8 servings. Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended.
There is nothing like grilled eggplant, and its smoky flavor makes a sensational dip; if you grill or roast a red pepper at the same time, so much the better. Serve with bread or crackers, or use as a sandwich spread.
2 medium or 4 small eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic, or to taste
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Turn the broiler on and position the rack about 4 inches below the heat, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high direct cooking, or heat the oven to 500°F.
Pierce the eggplant in several places with a thin knife or skewer. Grill or roast it, along with the pepper if you’re using one, turning occasionally, until the eggplant and pepper collapse and their skins blacken, 15 to 30 minutes depending on size. Remove, wrap with foil, and let cool.
When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, unwrap it, make a cut in the skin (if it hasn’t split on its own), scoop out the flesh, and chop it as finely as you can manage. Peel and core the pepper if you’re using it, then chop it. Mix the eggplant and pepper with lemon juice, oil, and garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with parsley and serve.
A little more elaborate: Omit the oil and bell pepper. While the eggplant is grilling or roasting, toast 1/2 cup pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking occasionally, just until they begin to brown. When the eggplant is cool, put it in the food processor with the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, реpper, and 1/3 cup tahini. Process until very smooth, adding a few teaspoons water or olive oil it necessary. Taste and add salt and/or more lemon juice or garlic to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Makes: 4 servings. Time: About an hour, largely unattended.
Vegetable meatballs are certainly they’re not the same as meat meatballs, but the different textures and flavors are terrific. To round out the meal, serve these over pasta, rice, salad, or steamed greens with a squeeze of lemon.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch
1 teaspoon salt
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch red chile flakes (optional)
2 cups any tomato sauce (like this one)
Heat the oven to 375°F. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the eggplant and 1 ⁄ 4 cup water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and return to the heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they’re soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the beans; if using canned, rinse them before draining. Add the beans and parsley to the work bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.
Toss the eggplant mixture with the onion and garlic, then add the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes if you’re using them. taste and adjust the seasoning. Roll the mixture into 12 balls about 2 inches in diameter; transfer them to the prepared pan. Bake, undisturbed, until they’re firm and well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the tomato sauce. serve the meatballs hot or at room temperature along with the tomato sauce.
Eggplant Parmesan With Grill-Roasted Tomato Sauce
Makes: 4 servings. Time: 40 to 50 minutes.
This recipe is so easy and fast you’ll never go back to breading and frying. The sauce is nothing more than chopped grill-roasted cherry tomatoes — all the seasoning they need is a little salt to heighten their natural flavor, concentrated as they gently hiss over a hot fire.
5 Tablespoons olive oil
2 eggplants, 3/4 to 1 pound each
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
6 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
About 1 cup fresh basil leaves
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella
Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium-high direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
Peel the eggplant if you like, and cut each lengthwise into 4 slices not more than ¾ inch thick each. Whisk 4 tablespoons of the oil and the vinegar together with some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the eggplant slices with the oil mixture on both sides. Put them on a baking sheet until you’re ready to grill them.
Toss the tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil and either skewer them or put them in a perforated grill pan and spread them into a single layer.
Put the tomatoes on the grill, directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning the skewers or shaking the pan several times, until they start to look wrinkled and get charred in places, 5 to 8 minutes total. Don’t let them cook too long; they should be saucy when you cut them up. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl.
Put the eggplant on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook until the slices are browned and tender, 5 to 8 minutes per side.
While the eggplant is cooking, chop the tomatoes by hand on a cutting board or in the bowl with an immersion blender, leaving the sauce somewhat chunky. If you chopped by hand, transfer the tomatoes and any juices back to the bowl. Sprinkle the sauce with salt and pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning.
As the eggplant is ready, transfer the slices to a platter. Top each slice with 2 tablespoons parmesan, a layer of basil leaves, and a layer of mozzarella. Return the slices to direct heat, close the lid, and cook until the mozzarella melts, 4 to 5 minutes. Return the eggplant to the platter. Reheat the tomato sauce if you like, top the eggplant with the sauce, and serve.
— Recipe from How to Grill Everything
Grilled Eggplant Salad With Yogurt and Tomatoes
Serves 4. Time: 30 to 45 minutes.
A room-temperature salad at the intersection of savory, smoky, tart, and refreshing. Eat it as is, over a bed of baby spinach or steamed basmati rice, or stuffed into pitas. If cherry tomatoes look better, use them instead of the big guys. Skewer about a dozen — or toss them in a perforated grill pan — and grill them with the eggplant for a double dose of fire flavor.
1 large eggplant, 1 1/2 pound
1/2 cup good quality olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 or 2 minced cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
1 large or two medium fresh tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
Ground sumac for garnish, optional
Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill. Make sure the grates are clean.
Peel the eggplants if you’d like. Cut into 3/4 inch slices. Brush with oil and salt and pepper to taste, both sides.
Put the eggplants on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid, turning once, until the slices develop deep grill marks and are tender, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Brush the eggplant with more oil if it starts to look dry. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Put the yogurt, garlic, scallions, mint, and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and eggplant to the yogurt and stir to coat. Serve chilled or bring to room temperature and garnish with sumac if you’d like.
— Recipe from How to Grill Everything
Source : Medium