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Grilled Eggplant with Apple Cider Vinegar + Herbs

The eggplant (which, like the tomato, is technically a fruit) is among the most universally beloved summer vegetables precisely because it may be grilled in almost any form, over almost any heat, with spectacular results.

Real charcoal is best, but this recipe can be cooked over gas or — if you have the patience — wood.

This delicious dish is great on its own, as an accompaniment to any main-course grilled dish, or over grilled slices of bread as an appetizer.

INGREDIENTS:

    • 3 eggplants (about 1 pound each)

 

    • 4-5 bay leaves

 

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus a little additional for brushing eggplant

 

 

    • 1 tablespoon of chopped fine herbs

 

  • 4 flat fillets of anchovies, minced

INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Prepare a very hot gas grill or charcoal fire.

 

    1. Cut the top stem area from each eggplant.

 

    1. Cut a thin slice at the other end. Stand each eggplant on the cut end.

 

    1. Peel one side of each eggplant (peeling away about one quarter of the eggplant skin), and then peel the opposite side (another one quarter of the skin).

 

    1. With each eggplant still standing on its cut end, and the unpeeled flesh of each one facing left and right, cut each eggplant into 8 vertical slices, approximately 1/3 inch thick. The 24 slices should be rectangular, with a thin border of peel on two sides.

 

    1. Plunge them into salted, simmering water for 2 minutes. Remove, and brush lightly with olive oil.

 

    1. When the grill is ready, place the eggplant slices and bay leaves in a single layer. Cover, but turn frequently, checking every 2 minutes or so to make sure the eggplant is not burning. (Alternatively, you can cook the eggplant under a broiler on an oiled cookie sheet.)

 

    1. The slices are done when they're sizzled brown on the outside, just tender within. Lay them out on one or more large platters, in a single layer, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

 

    1. In a large mixing bowl, dress the eggplant slices with olive oil and Apple Cider Vinegar Infused with Herbs and Honey. Very gently, toss the salad together, trying to keep the eggplant slices as whole as possible. Let cool for 15 minutes, and serve at room temperature anytime within a few hours.

 

  1. Sprinkle with chopped fine herbs as desired and minced anchovies.