Friday, August 27, 2010

Easy Grilled Eggplant

It's a shame there's really no way to make eggplant pretty, because it tastes so much better than it looks. As I've mentioned before, it's also perfect on the grill when it's sliced about 1/2 inch thick - won't fall through the grates and is substantial enough at that thickness that it doesn't get too mushy either! Combining a couple of salad dressings and brushing them on before grilling doesn't hurt.

1 medium to large ripe eggplant, sliced in rounds 1/2 thick
1/3 cup Ken's Lite Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
1/3 cup Kraft Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. Mix the two salad dressings together and brush half of it over the slices of eggplant on one side.

Grill over medium heat until browned on the bottoms, turn and brush the cooked side with dressing. Continue cooking until the bottoms are browned as well and the eggplant is tender but still firm.

Note: I use a disposable grill pan with holes in it to do this because it makes it easier to transfer the eggplant to the oven, but you can grill it directly on the grate and use a spatula to put the slices back on a baking pan.

While the eggplant is grilling, preheat the broiler in the oven. When the eggplant is cooked, transfer the slices to a baking sheet (or just put your whole disposable grill pan on a baking sheet) and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and just turning golden. As an alternative to mozzarella alone, feta, a blend of feta and mozzarella or an Italian four cheese blend would also be delicious.

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