Grilled Italian Eggplant Is the Perfect Addition to Any Barbecue

This past Saturday night, I had a small barbecue with my wife, aunt, uncle and cousin.  I made the usual suspects: hamburgers, hot dogs, bone-in strip steaks.  But the dish that was the real hit was the grilled Italian eggplant.  And the preparation could not have been any easier.  Let me share it with you.

  • I started out with 3 Italian eggplants.  I sliced them a 1/4 inch thick on the dias (cutting on the dias is a diagonal cut). 
  • I grilled the slices of eggplant on my gas grill.  I cooked the slices about 3 minutes on one side then flipped them over and grilled them for another 2 minutes.  You can tell they are done when the eggplant has become soft, but not mushy.   You still want a bit of a bite (“al dente” as we say in Italian).  The grilling of the eggplant lends a nice smoky flavor to the finished dish. 
  • I then put the cooked slices of eggplant in a bowl.  To the bowl, I added approximately 1 1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil (I used Baena D.O. Extra Virgin Olive Oil that I picked up at Fairway Market in Paramus, NJ.  Baena D.O. is an olive oil from Andalusia in Spain.).  I also added about 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.  I then took a handful of mint leaves from my backyard mint bush.  I tore them up by hand and added them to the bowl.  The mint freshens up the dish. I finished by seasoning the eggplant with Sicilian sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper. 

That is all this side dish needs.  There is beauty in the simplicity of a dish like this.  On top of that, it tastes really good.  I hope you try out this recipe at your next get together.  Let me know what you think.  Ciao for now!

Living to eat,

Tony Mangia

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