Here’s The Expert Way To Grill Eggplant
Mastering the art of grilled eggplant is a skill everyone should strive to have. If you can get behind a grill and whip up a batch of tender, juicy marinated eggplant slices, you can consider yourself invited to all future BBQs. The best part about mastering grilled eggplant is that everyone loves it. All of your vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto and gluten-free friends can hang out and enjoy together.
The best way to slice up your eggplant before grilling is into round one-half-inch slices. This way you’ll be able to get the maximum amount of eggplant surface area touching the grill. If you cut eggplant the long way, you might not get as much yield.
Since eggplant naturally retains a lot of water, you’ll want to remove that excess liquid before you grill. The more liquid your food has when it hits the high heat, the less likely it is to brown and caramelize.
Place the salted eggplant into a strainer and let it stand — either in the sink or over a plate — for about an hour or so to drain. The salt will help to pull out excess moisture throughout the process. Once you drain the eggplant, rinse the slices under cold water and lay them out on paper towels to dry. You can use a top layer of paper to press on the eggplant until you don’t notice any extra moisture.
To season the eggplant, brush each slice with olive oil and then sprinkle with your spices of choice. Freshly cracked black pepper, sea salt and red pepper flakes are always a foolproof trio. This is also the time to marinate the eggplant. Grilled balsamic eggplant never fails. Another acidic pairing would be this lime and sesame grilled eggplant.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, brush a little oil onto the grill and place all of the slices on there. Close the lid and cook each slice for six minutes, or until it’s browned on each side. Once all of the slices are golden brown — if your grill was hot enough you’ll have those fancy grill marks — remove the eggplant from the heat an drizzle with a little more olive oil and sea salt. Hot honey is killer condiment to drizzle on top.
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