Argentinian Grilled EggplantSteven Raichlen
Argentinians don’t generally dilute their staunchly carnivornian meals with superfluous side dishes or vegetables. However, grilled eggplant has become part of the steak house repertoire. The eggplant of choice is a small (4 inches long) Italian variety–the sort you’d find in an Italian market or gourmet shop. Larger eggplants can be cooked this way, too. (If using large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices and grill 3 to 5 minutes per side.)
Argentinian Grilled Eggplant
- Yield: 6 servings
- Method: Direct Grilling
- 3 small (4 to 6 ounces each) Italian eggplants
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Step 1: Preheat the grill to high.
Step 2: Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise; do not trim off the stem ends. Mix the garlic and oil in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the cut sides of the eggplants. Combine the herbs and spices in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 3: When ready to cook, arrange the eggplants, cut sides down, on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Lightly brush the skin sides of the eggplants with the oil mixture. Turn the eggplants with tongs and brush the tops with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with the dried herb mixture and salt and black pepper to taste. Continue cooking the eggplants, cut sides up, until the flesh is soft, 6 to 8 minutes more. Serve immediately.