Grilled Eggplant with Tahini Sauce

September 23, 2014 | By | Reply More

grilled eggplant

While the abundance of fresh tomatoes is the big story in the Tomato Envy garden, there are other success stories too. I have more Chinese red noodle beans then we can eat, my fall veggies are thriving so far, and for once, I’ve been able to successfully grow eggplant. Eggplant is finicky and thrives in the hottest of summer weather. If it gets what it wants, it rewards you, generously as it turns out.

I am growing four eggplant plants representing three different varieties. There’s the more traditional-looking, beautifully colored Rosita eggplant, the unique Thai White Ribbed eggplant, and the diminutive Thai Long Green eggplant. Because we always have several of each of these in our fridge, I’ve been learning some new ways to cook eggplant to supplement my trusty stand-bys like the very French eggplant gratin, hearty ratatouille, and even a smoky eggplant soup.

grilled eggplant

Rosita and Thai White-Ribbed Eggplants from the garden

This recipe is adapted from my current favorite garden-to-table book, Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway. This late summer dish is a perfect side for grilled meat or fish. Or, for a light vegetarian meal, serve the grilled eggplant slices layered over cooked quinoa with some spicy-sweet pickled peppers on the side.

Although there are gazillions of heirloom eggplants of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, I stick with medium eggplants that are easy to slice and grill. Any leftover dressing that you don’t eat straight from the bowl with a spoon can be used to spruce up other vegetables too. It’s really nice on roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

Ingredients (Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish)grilled eggplant

2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds, total)

Fine sea salt

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tsp. lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing eggplant slices

2 tablespoons cold water

Fresh, flat-leafed parsley for serving

Step one:

2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds, total)

Fine sea salt

grilled eggplantSlice the stem ends from the eggplant and slice each lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of the slices with a little fine sea salt and lay them on a paper towel lined baking sheet for about 30 minutes. The salt will draw water out of the eggplant so it’s easier to get a nice sear on them once they are on the grill. Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium high heat – this is about 450° on my Big Green Egg.

Step two:

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tsp. lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons cold water

grilled eggplantIn a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together. It will look a little runny at first, but it will thicken as it sits while your eggplant is on the grill. Set aside.

Step three:

Olive oil

Fresh, flat-leafed parsley

Go back to your eggplant slices and brush both sides of each with olive oil. Place them on the grates of your preheated grill and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Feel free to move the slices around if some are getting too charred cooking on the hottest parts of the grill. You want the eggplant to be cooked through with some charred spots and nice grill marks.

Divide and arrange the slices on plates, drizzle generously with tahini sauce and sprinkle liberally with chopped fresh parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Category: Fall, Favorites, Food, General, Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes

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