Heavy, glossy eggplants priced at 50 cents apiece at Lafayette’s Fresh Pickins inspired a quick, grilled eggplant dish, ideal for a weeknight supper. Great with a simple tomato-sauced pasta, the glazed eggplant slices cook quickly on the grill over high heat. A bonus: cold leftovers make great sandwiches, garnished with arugula, basil, and a thick tomato slice.
Simple grilled eggplant
Stir together equal parts honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil (about 3 tsp of each will glaze one sliced eggplant). Add in two cloves of garlic, finely minced, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper; stir in one or two tablespoons of water to thin the mixture. Slice an eggplant evenly into 3/8″ thick pieces and spoon the glaze over the cut slices.
Grill at 400-500 degrees until browned; turn pieces and continue cooking until the undersides are lightly charred. Remove from heat and sprinkle with coarsely grated, young pecorino romano cheese. Serve as an antipasto or accompanied by an uncomplicated pasta & sauce.
Cooking eggplant at 400+ degrees in the dry, charcoal-fired heat of a Big Green Egg eliminates the need for salting/drying the eggplant slices. Long, slender Asian eggplant varieties are less bitter than the globular Italian cultivars, which may require peeling prior to grilling.