Eggplant on the Grill

Grilling enhances the flavor of any food, and eggplant is no exception. It benefits from the smoky essence of being cooked over the open flame, making it more appealing to a larger number of people. Grilled eggplant can be added to recipes like baba ganoush, or can be eaten straight from the grill.

Although there are many methods used to grill eggplant, all are quick and easy. A simple way to cook a whole eggplant is to pierce the skin, coat it with oil, and place it on the grill. To speed up cooking time, either cut the eggplant into disks or slice it lengthwise into ½ to ¾ inch pieces. Placing salt on the slices and putting them under a heavy pot or bowl of water for an hour or two will help remove excess moisture and prevent burning. Once the moisture is removed, the slices should go on an oiled, hot grill and cook until they are tender and collapsed with even grill lines on both sides; which usually takes around five minutes per side. Overcooked eggplant will be mushy and soft and will be difficult to remove, so they should be watched carefully while on the grill.

Even grilled eggplant can be bland by itself, but its outstanding ability to absorb oil comes in handy when trying to enhance its flavor. Marinating eggplant slices anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight in a blend of olive oil, garlic and seasonings can spice up the taste. Another way to increase flavor is to serve a similar olive oil mixture on the side as a dipping sauce. Layering grilled eggplant with grilled tomato is another way to dress up the vegetable and makes a lovely presentation.

Stuffing an eggplant before grilling it is another option. Eggplants are cut lengthwise and hollowed out to make a bowl for the stuffing. The eggplant pulp that was hollowed out can be combined with any number of ingredients, including tomato, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions, nuts, cheese, sausage and basmati rice. Generally the stuffing is cooked stovetop and then added to the eggplant bowl before it is brought out to the grill, where it will cook until the shell is tender. Encasing the stuffed eggplant in a foil packet can help contain the ingredients and makes removing the finished product easier.

Grilling eggplant can be a simple, quick way to provide a great snack, or with a little more time and effort it can produce a splendid meal. Using grilled vegetables in everyday recipes can enhance and update the flavor or any dish. Spicing up eggplant is easy by cooking it on a grill, and spicing up a cookout is easy with eggplant.

Eggplant is delicious and nutritious. Check out our growing collection of eggplant recipes representing the best the culinary world has to offer. Find the perfect eggplant dish for everyday dining or special occasions.

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