All About Eggplant

We made grilled eggplant at least once a week during the month of August. My blogger friend, Simona of Briciole, is hosting Fresh Produce of the Month event, and this month it is, you guessed it, eggplant. So, without further ado, here are all my submissions to the event:

How to: Rub the sliced eggplant with kosher salt and let them sweat on paper towels for an hour, turning once, to remove much of the moisture. Then rinse off the salt, pat dry, and brush with olive oil. Grill over medium high heat. I like to slice the eggplant in generous portions so it doesn't shrivel up on the grill.

Grilled Skirt Steak
over Grilled Eggplant and Salsa Verde Black Beans
Cilantro Garnish

A year ago, I posted this black bean with salsa verde recipe. It comes from Nancy Silverton's A Twist of the Wrist cookbook featuring very quick recipes that come from a can or a jar. The recipe is posted here. Last time I topped the beans with avocado, this time with grilled eggplant. Both excellent with skirt steak.

Salad of Grilled Eggplant and
Slow Roasted Tomato with Bûcheron
Dijon Vinaigrette

This is a simple salad but don't let that fool you, it is loaded with flavors of the smokey eggplant, the concentrated roasted tomato, the tangy goat cheese, grilled bread, mixed lettuces, Jacques Pepin's vinaigrette.

My nephew, Jett, helped make slow roasted tomatoes. I cut the roma tomatoes while he poured olive oil into the baking dish. Then he placed the tomatoes in the dish, sprinkled with kosher salt, a little sugar, and dried oregano, then drizzled more olive oil over the top. We slow roasted them at 250 for 2+ hours.

To finish, we topped the tomatoes with chopped parsely and minced garlic. I read about this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, it was adapted from Cafe Lago in Seattle.

Festonati Pasta, Grilled Eggplant, Homegrown Tomato 
Topped with Grated Smoked Scamorza, Fresh Basil
Olive Oil, Garlic, Red Chile Flakes

Chunky grilled eggplant was perfectly paired with this uncommon garland-shaped pasta called festonati.  The festonati was tossed in olive oil heated with shaved garlic and red pepper flakes, then eggplant, chopped tomatoes and basil added. Finished with grated scamorza. I especially like this rustic pasta dish, all the components are bold and rough chopped.

Grilled Eggplant, Melting Scamorza
Homegrown Tomatoes, Fresh Basil
 with Garlic Anchovy Oil

If you like smokey flavors, do try smoked scamorza paired with grilled eggplant. This aged mozzarella-style cheese is made from water buffalo milk. 
To make the flavorful oil: Heat olive oil, add minced garlic, then anchovies. Stir until the anchovies dissolve. Remove from heat, add red pepper flakes, chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle over tomatoes and serve with crusty bread to dip in the flavored oil too. This makes a great side dish to grilled chicken.

Still craving eggplant? You might want to check out  Spaghetti with Eggplant Cream Sauce too. It comes in handy when fresh eggplant is not available.

My absolute favorite way to prepare eggplant is GRILLED! How about you?