This is a 30 minutes to the table dinner that Jim made this weekend!
We grill our vegetables a lot. The smoky flavor along with the caramelized vegetables are memorable. I remember the best meal I ever had was 2 weeks after Hurricane Ike. We had been eating MREs(meals ready to eat). I was grateful for them, but as a vegetarian, my options were severely limited. Eating the same thing over and over is not my thing.
Well! Kroger reopened. I went up there and bought eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and onions. Jim grilled them with garlic, salt, & pepper. He served them on sour dough bread with melted mozzarella. OMG! One of the best meals EVAH!
I got this recipe from The Vegetarian Times a while back. We both love Japanese eggplant. I find that Japanese eggplant has a milder less bitter flavor than regular eggplant. Some people say that Japanese eggplants have a naturally smoky flavor, I don’t taste that. I think most stores sell Japanese eggplant these days. If you can’t get them, regular eggplants will work. The eggplant slices can also be cooked on a countertop grill (such as George Foreman) or broiled in the oven. If we broil in the oven we will put a little bit of liquid smoke in the oil that we use to baste the eggplant. I seems to replicate the grilled flavor.
Jim makes couscous to go with this. Really wonderful!
6 medium-size Japanese eggplants (about 1 ½ lb.)
2 Tbs. olive oil plus extra for brushing
6 tomatoes (about 2 lb.) cut into ½-inch dice
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 tsp. drained capers
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
Preheat outdoor grill or set stovetop grill on medium heat. Cut each eggplant lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Brush slices with olive oil.
Mix tomatoes, 2 Tbs. oil, basil, shallot, capers and vinegar in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill eggplants 5 minutes on each side for outdoor grill, 5 minutes total for countertop grill, or until tender and scored with dark grill marks. Arrange eggplant slices on platter. Spoon tomato mixture over top, and serve.