Grilled and Marinated Eggplant
From Gail Norton
I love this recipe. It’s simple but elegant and stores well for a couple of days in the fridge. You can grill the eggplant on a barbecue, which enhances the flavour, but just cooking it in a dry, non-stick frying pan allows for a more delicate version. This technique takes virtually no oil, almost steaming the eggplant rather than frying it. I learned how to make it from Ulisse, the owner of an organic farm called Il Casale in Pienza, Italy. I’ve made it at home, so I know it’s delicious – it wasn’t just the fantastic Tuscan setting that made it so memorable.
1 medium eggplant
1/3 c. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 2 lemons
Cut the eggplant, including the skin, lengthwise into slices no thicker than 1/3-inch. Place the slices in a colander and generously salt them. Use lots of salt – you’ll rinse it off afterward and it’s needed to draw the liquid out. Let the eggplant sit for at least one hour but not more. Stir the olive oil and garlic together and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. This mellows the garlic. Add the lemon juice.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan over high heat.
Rinse the salt off the eggplant slices and dry their surfaces. Cook the eggplant, one slice at a time, in the hot, dry frying pan, until it’s slightly brown. Flip and brown the other side, about five minutes per side. Once each slice is brown, remove it from the pan and lay it on a serving platter. Brush the eggplant liberally on both sides with the olive oil/garlic/lemon mixture. Serve the eggplant cold or at room temperature. Serves 2 to 4.