Basic Grilled Eggplant

  • 1 large globe eggplant (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • Kosher salt

Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill (covered on a gas grill; uncovered on a charcoal grill) until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well-marked on the second sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Italian Grilled Eggplant

Cut eggplants into 1-inch-thick rounds; make shallow cuts on both faces and rub with a mixture of 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Grill, covered, until tender and lightly browned, turning and brushing with more oil as needed, about 20 minutes. Layer with grilled tomato and mozzarella. Garnish: Basil.

Greek Grilled Eggplant

Slice eggplants in half lengthwise; make shallow cuts on flesh side. Combine 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup each minced onion and minced or puréed olives (or tapenade); brush all over eggplant, pushing into slits. Grill, covered and turning as needed, until flesh is soft and skin is crisp, 20-30 minutes. Garnish: Crumbled feta and more olives.

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