Mama, do eggplants grow eggs?
I was with my son at the market when I noticed the gorgeous purple eggplants from across the produce aisle. His question just made me burst out laughing.
I adore eggplant. Baked, pureed, in a stew, in a dip, I just love how eggplant can adapt so well to a world of flavors and cooking styles. And of course, I love grilled eggplant. It absorbs a light marinade beautifully and adopts all that lovely smokiness.
My Grilled Eggplant with Roast Garlic Dressing soaks in the subtle richness of balsamic vinegar and the rustic earthiness of roasted garlic. It is delicious straight off the grill, but the beauty of this dish is that the leftovers are wonderful too. I love to eat it straight out of the refrigerator with a sprinkling of goat cheese for an antipasto-style salad.
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I love the smokey flavor that grilling imparts on eggplant. While it especially helps to have a mesh grill fry pan or something similar, you can also achieve similar results by skewering and grilling the vegetables. Serve it warm as a wonderful side dish to your favorite summer grilled favorites. It is equally delicious the following day, served chilled and dotted with globs of goat cheese.
Roast Garlic Dressing
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra drizzling for roasting
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- pinch or two of salt
Grilled Eggplant with Roast Garlic Dressing
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 red onion, diced
- Roast Garlic dressing
- 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
- additional salt & pepper to taste
Preheat/prepare the grill to medium-high heat.
Make the Roast Garlic Dressing:
Slice the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves of garlic. Place on a square of aluminum foil, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap the aluminum foil and roast on the grill for 30 minutes or until the cloves within are buttery soft. Alternatively, you can do roast the garlic in a 400ºF oven. Squeeze the cloves out of the peeling into a small bowl and mash with a fork until it is a smooth pulp. Stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Diced the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes; try to dice as evenly as possible so that the eggplant cooks evenly at the same rate. Dice the red onions in a similar fashion. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the eggplant and red onion in the mixture, coating evenly. Allow to marinate for about 10-15 minutes (this can be done while you are waiting for your garlic to roast).
On the prepared grill, using a grill pan, grill the eggplant and onion, tossing periodically. It should take about 10-15 minutes for the eggplant to soften. When the eggplant is fork tender, transfer the eggplant and red onions to a bowl and stir in the Roast Garlic Dressing. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm (or cold!), and enjoy.