Grilled Eggplant RecipeWritten by CMP on May 26, 2008
A little over ten years ago, my wife and I took our honeymoon to Italy. We spent the first half of the trip in Venice and Florence, eating great food and getting our fill of culture. I think she's still a little angry at me for the hotel selection I made in Florence, but that's a subject for another story.
For the second half of our trip, we rented a car and toured the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. The uncontested culinary winner of this portion of the trip was Antica Fattoria Del Colle an inn / farmhouse we stayed at in Deruta. Dinner was served "family style" each evening, with the guests from the 10 guest rooms seated around a large wooden table. Every 15 minutes or so, the chef / owner would enter the room carrying a dish prepared with ingredients freshly picked, plucked, or, um, killed on his farm. With each entry he would provide the history of the dish, some local anecdote, and occasionally the name of the livestock who had recently made the supreme sacrifice ("Luna" the cow sticks in my mind).
This grilled eggplant dish is simple and relies on fresh ingredients, like all the meals we had on that trip. Be sure to use fresh mint in this as the dried doesn't bring the same flavor to the dish.
- 2 Large Eggplant
- 3 Tbs Fresh Mint, chopped
- 1 Tsp Hot Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
Pluck the mint leaves of their stems - you'll need a good hand full of un-chopped leaves. Place them on your cutting board and dump the hot pepper flakes on top. Run your knife through the mixture until all the mint leaves are well chopped. You'll break up the pepper flakes as you do this, and this will help distribute them over the eggplant.
Slice eggplants length-wise, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush each slice with olive oil, on both sides. Grill eggplant over direct-high heat, about 2 minutes per side. As the eggplant slices come off the grill, brush again with olive oil. Salt to taste and sprinkle mint-pepper combination on top.
Serve hot or at room temperature. The leftovers are great for sandwiches with some fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, and balsamic vinegar on good, crusty, bread.
Related Recipes: Grilled Eggplant Sandwich