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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Easiest-Easier-Easy: Eggplant

OK, I wish I could offer a trio of difficulty-scaled recipes for throwing together a quick eggplant side dish using only fresh eggplant and pantry staples...but I don't really like eggplant.  Sorry.  I've tried it every way to Sunday and I just don't much care for it.  The only two things I like to do with it are grill it, which is easy especially if you're grilling your main dish, and Julia Child's eggplant soufflĂ©, which is not so easy and therefore excludes itself from this arena.  Fortunately, prime eggplant season (late summer) coincides with prime grilling season.  You can, of course, grill indoors.

I don't do any prep to my eggplant except to slice it on the diagonal.  Many recipes call for salting for 20 minutes, rinsing, pressing, blah, blah, blah.  Slice 'em.  Wait until the last minute to brush olive oil on them because they're like sponges and will soak it up in a heartbeat.

Grilled Eggplant
Makes 4 servings

1 1.5 lb. eggplant, stem trimmed and sliced crosswise on the diagonal
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Get your grill good and hot (if you're grilling indoors, put the grill pan over slightly higher than medium heat).  Brush eggplant slices with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Grill about 4-5 minutes per side.  If you want fancy-dancy grill marks, rotate each slice 90 degrees after 2 minutes.

Oh, alright, you twisted my arm.  Here is ONE other easy, tasty variant on the theme.  Brush eggplant slices with teriyaki sauce instead of oil, salt and pepper before grilling or broiling (about the same amount of time under the broiler).  Oil the grill grates or line the broiler pan with foil.  Pin It

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