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,