It's officially eggplant season, and we really couldn't be happier here at the farm. We hold a special place in our collective heart for the creamy, tender, nutty flavors of this exceptional nightshade, and during prime eggplant season we are known to make ourselves sick eating it for three (or four, or five) meals a day.
In typical form, we're growing nine different varieties this season - each type has its own character and taste, so we'll try to be clear in our recipes about which types are best for which methods of preparation. Though, when in doubt, grill or broil any of these varieties using the recipe below.
Grilled or Broiled Eggplant Slices
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
1 medium-to-large italian eggplant (1 to 1½ pounds)
1 tsp minced garlic
4 to 6 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced fresh parsley leaves
Cut the eggplant and salt, if you like. (This will draw out the bitterness: sprinkle both sides of the slices liberally with coarse salt, then let drain in a colander for at least half an hour, or up to two hours; rinse and squeeze dry between paper or cloth towels.) Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill or broiler; the rack should be 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. Stir the garlic into the olive oil and brush one side of the eggplant slices with the oil. Place, oiled side down, on a baking sheet or directly on the grill. Sprinkle with salt (if you salted the eggplant, hold off) and pepper, then brush with more oil. Broil or grill until browned on both sides, turning once or twice and brushing with more oil if the eggplant looks dry. Serve hot or at room temperature, garnished with parsley.