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One of the best things about eggplant is the many ways this nutritious nightshade vegetable can be cooked. For this delicious Mediterranean eggplant recipe, we will be grilling to perfection. Eggplants are delicious even if you char them on the grill, roast it in the oven, or fry it in a pan. Another great thing about eggplant is that it’s versatile. They can be used as a side dish or a main course. It is hard to resist cooking it on a regular basis. Check some of the recipes on our blog from Moutabal Dip, Baba Ghanoush, and Stuffed Eggplants Karniyarik. Those recipes are divine!
This time around I grilled eggplant on bbq, as I was grilling some BlackBass fish and wanted to make the best of the open flame. Why not char some eggplant that will complement the fish dish? I grilled the eggplant until they were perfectly charred, then laid them on a garlicky lemon yogurt sauce, to top it off I added a sumac lemon and olive oil sauce. The end result was a rich charr eggplant rich in flavors with every bite.
Why It’s Important To Brine The Eggplant?
The trick of grilling eggplant is to cook them just right to bring out most of the flavor of the eggplant without becoming spongy. The easiest way to do this (I learned this Mediterranean eggplant recipe tip from my Mom) is to soak them with salt water. This ancient secret to cook eggplant has been used for generations, for both frying or grilling.
There are a couple of reasons why you should brine your eggplant before grilling it. First, eggplant can be a little bitter, but soaking it in salt water helps to draw out that bitterness and moisture lock in the eggplant’s natural sweetness. Second, when you grill eggplant, you want it to have that nice char on the outside while still being soft and velvety on the inside, and brining helps to achieve that perfectly cooked consistency.
Should you peel before grilling the eggplant?
When it comes to grilled eggplant, there are a couple of schools of thought. Some people believe that peeling the eggplant before grilling helps to keep its shape and prevents it from falling through the grill grates. Others prefer to leave the eggplant unpeeled, as the skin helps to protect the flesh from drying out. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to peel the eggplant before grilling. If you want to make sure that the eggplant stays intact, peeling it beforehand is probably your best bet. However, if you’re more concerned about keeping the eggplant moist and flavorful, you may want to leave the skin on. Me, I don’t like too much of eggplant skin so I peeled some and left some.
How to Choose the Perfect Eggplant for Grilling?
When choosing eggplant for grilling, look for eggplants that are firm to the touch and have glossy, deep purple skin. Avoid eggplants that are soft or have brown spots, as these may indicate that they are overripe. The size and shape of the eggplant will also affect how it cooks on the grill. For smaller eggplants, look for round varieties like Fairy Tale or Indian Round. These eggplants are perfect for slicing into rounds or cubes and grilling on skewers. Choose long, slender varieties like Japanese eggplant or Italian eggplant for larger eggplants. They can be cut lengthwise, round, sliced, or grilled whole.
In a large bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons with 8 cups of water, add the sliced of eggplant, make sure you emerge them underwater, by placing a plate on top to keep them sinking underneath the water for 30 minutes keep for 30 minutes
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the yogurt with minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the dish
Make the sumac dressing in a small bowl, mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest with minced garlic, sumac, pomegranate molasses, and season with salt and pepper and keep aside.
Drain the eggplant and pat dry with a towel, brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and place on the grill. Close the grill and cook for about 6 minutes. flip them over and cook for another 6 minutes or until they become golden in color and have grill marks on them. Remove from the grill.
|2 large italian eggplant (peeled or not cut round about ¾ of inch thick)|
|2 tablespoons seasalt|
|2 tablespoons olive oil|
|8 cups water|
|For the sumac dressing: 1 clove garlic minced, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons sumac, 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley|
For the yogurt sauce:
|1 ½ cup greek yogurt|
|2 cloves garlic (minced)|
|2 teaspoons lemon zest|
|1 tablespoon lemon juice|
|1 tablespoon olive oil|
|1 teaspoon salt|
|1 teaspoon black pepper|
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