Saturday, May 12, 2007

Grilled Eggplant in Tomato Vinaigrette

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This recipe is from by Lisa & Tony Sierra.

Eggplants are a very common vegetable in the Mediterannean, particularly in Spain. This eggplant dish is great to serve as a tapa or a side dish, especially in spring and summer. It is the perfect make-ahead dish that you can take out a few minutes before serving. With two eggplants in the recipe, it serves 6 as a side dish and 12 as a tapa.

2 Eggplants, Medium size or 1 large
1/3-1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Roma Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Spanish Sherry Vinegar
2 Green Onions, finely chopped (optional)
2 tsp Capers, minced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
2 Basil Sprigs for Garnish
1 Loaf French-style Bread

Cut and Grill the Eggplant
Trim off any stems or blemishes on the skin of the eggplants. Cut eggplants crosswise into slices about 3/8 inch thick.

Tip: Slices 1/4 inch thick are a bit too thin. They will burn easily and fall apart after they are dressed with oil and vinegar. Slices 1/2 inch thick take too long to cook under the grill and the skin can be hard to cut or chew.

Turn on broiler to heat. Place slices on a baking sheet and spray with oil, using a “mister” if you have one. If not, lightly brush each slice with olive oil. Place baking sheets under broiler on second shelf from top, so that they are not too close, or they will burn. When one side is slightly browned and soft when you press lightly, turn slices over, apply olive oil and return to broiler. Depending on your broiler, the distance from the pan, it may take 20-25 minutes to cook.

Tip: You may find that slices that are directly under the broiler cook much faster than those at the far corners of the pan. Keep a close eye on the pans and rotate the slices on the cookie sheet. Remove slices individually as they are done cooking and place on a large platter or serving plate. Don’t be afraid to overlap slices on the serving plate. It works just fine for serving and will be more appetizing.

Chop Tomatoes and Other Ingredients
While the eggplant is broiling, finely chop the tomatoes and place them into a medium size mixing boil. Finely chop the green onions and put the garlic cloves through a press or mince them by hand and place in the bowl with tomatoes. Remove the capers from the jar with a slotted spoon, so that they drain. Chop the capers and mix into the bowl with other ingredients. Make sure that stems are removed from the basil leaves, then chop the basil and place in bowl.

Add Olive Oil and Vinegar
Pour Olive oil and vinegar into the bowl and mix with the other ingredients.

Dress the Eggplant with the Vinaigrette
Allow the eggplant to cool a few minutes. Then, spoon the tomato vinaigrette sauce over the eggplant. Serve immediately with sliced bread or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you refrigerate this dish, be sure to take it out of the fridge a few minutes before serving, so that it warms up. You will not taste the rich flavors of this dish if it is served ice cold.

1 comment:

MommyK said...

FYI...eggplant freezes well. My husband loves eggplant parmesan, but I'm not a fan. When eggplant goes on sale, or when my inlaws grow more than they can eat, I slice them and freeze them in double-layer freezer bags. I pull them out 30 minutes before making the parmesan and bread and fry them while they are still cold. The dish comes out great, it's an easy way to save a little money by storing produce when it's cheaper, and my husband couldn't tell the difference.

One caveat...don't thaw the eggplant in the fridge because it will get mushy.