Eggplants are one of my favourite vegetables, whether grilled, fried or cooked. I have a couple of other really nice eggplant recipes to share, among them an eggplant-goatcheese lasagna and pizza with eggplant and ricotta cheese… but let’s first get all the recipes from our launch weekend up to this blog.
One downside when frying eggplants is that it’s almost impossible to get them soft and done without lots of oil – they soak it up like little sponges. Ok, there are a few tips and tricks to minimize the amount of oil needed, but it can still be quite a greasy experience. That’s one of the reasons why I really like grilled eggplants. They are super easy to prepare and you get the pulp soft and tasty without any additional oil. You simply prick into the eggplants a couple of times with a fork, put the whole thing on the grill and after 15-20 minutes they are done. You might get a little shock at first because they look completely black and burnt, but that’s the whole idea. Cut them, take the pulp out of the burned skin and there you go. The simple grilled eggplant version for a BBQ is to add some garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice and salt – this gives you a delicious dip to enjoy on bread or with meat. The slightly more advanced – but also fresher – version is a salad of grilled eggplant and tomatoes. I found this in the book “Weber’s Grillen mit Holzkohle” – and it’s a favourite ever since I tried it. Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Salad of grilled eggplants and tomatoes
For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
For the salad:
- 300g tomatoes in cubes, without seeds
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 medium-sized eggplants (each about 450g)
- 4 tbsp spring onions, finely sliced
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing and put it aside.
- For the salad, Mix the tomato cubes and the sea salt and put them aside. Strain after 30 minutes and put tomatoes into a bigger bowl.
- Prepare the grill for strong direct heat. Alternatively you can use the oven at 230°C.
- Prick the eggplants with a fork, and put on the grill for 15-20 minutes (ideally with closed lid, if your BBQ has one). Turn eggplants regularly and take off the grill when the skin is black and the pulp very soft. Let them cool off on a plate.
- Slice the grilled eggplants in half, and take out the pulp with a large spoon. Throw the skin away and also large seeds if any in the pulp. Roughly chop the remaining pulp.
- Add grilled eggplant and spring onion slices to the tomatoes and mix carefully. Add dressing, and sprinkle with the coriander shortly before serving. Bon appetit!