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Slow-Grilled Eggplants

Adapted from “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean”
by Paula Wolfert (Harper Collins, 1994)
Time: 30 minutes

4 thick, plump purple-black eggplants (10 to 11 ounces each)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of dried Mediterranean oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

1. Begin a charcoal fire and allow coals to turn to ash.Have a supply of coals to keep a steady heat on grill for about half an hour.

2. Wash and dry eggplants, and prick each one once with a toothpick. Place eggplants far enough from hot white coals so that they will cook slowly and evenly. Turn eggplants as each side becomes black and soft. Transfer to a serving dish and peel one side. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, sugar and pepper.

3. Slip each eggplant into an individual dish so that the peeled side is up. Use a small knife to make three or four crisscrossing slashes into the buttery pulp. Whisk the olive oil dressing until it is well combined, and spoon an equal portion over each eggplant. Gently press the dressing into the pulp with a fork. Top with the parsley, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

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