Friday, 7 September 2012

Dad's BBQ Eggplant

I envy my dad very much for having a vegetable patch behind his house. It's one of my dreams to have a garden where I can grow veggies, herbs and flowers. I am actually seriously looking into starting a vertical vegetable patch on my balcony next spring (I will keep you guys posted about that), because seeing the gorgeous home-grown tomatoes makes my mouth water. I am also really eager to know the satisfaction of eating a meal made from produce I have grown and nurtured myself. After all, isn't the best way to avoid pesticides and genetically modified crap simply to grow our own food? I say hurray for urban gardening!

Dad shared a recipe he tried on his fresh garden eggplants with me. He told me how much his girlfriend and him enjoyed it, and I couldn't wait to give it a shot. I mean: eggplant + garlic + grilling? Omnomnom!

This recipe makes a lovely vegetarian main course that you can serve with quinoa or rice for a light, healthy meal. You can also use the thick eggplant slices for veggie burgers, or to stuff wraps and sandwiches. And of course, carnivores can use it as a tasty side to their barbecued meat!

1 large eggplant, sliced in 1 to 2 cm slices
Sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Proven├žal herbs
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 pinch Cayenne (or to taste)

Sweat the eggplant by salting the slices and letting them sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse the slices and pat them dry with paper towels. In a bowl, mix the other ingredients and brush both sides of the slices with the mixture.

Let the eggplant “marinate” in the mixture for 30 minutes. On a barbecue or grilling pan, grill the slices on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes on both sides until they are tender.

Baste the slices occasionally with the leftover marinade. You can also cook the eggplant in the oven, preheated to 400 degrees, on the lower rack for 10 minutes.

You can add a bit of cumin and oregano to your marinade if you want to, but the basic recipe is super-tasty and the tender eggplant has an amazing texture from the grilling. Along with my grilled portobello, this is another gorgeous vegetarian BBQ idea that you can enjoy all year long! Hopefully, next year, I'll be testing it on balcony-grown eggplant!

Thanks for the yummy recipe, dad!

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