FoodDiscover the ultimate guide to a perfect dish: grilled eggplant

Discover the ultimate guide to a perfect dish: grilled eggplant

Grilled eggplant. Remember two rules.
Grilled eggplant. Remember two rules.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | DisobeyArt
1:39 PM EDT, April 24, 2024

This year, a certain well-known, healthy, and delicious purple vegetable has made its way onto my favorite grilled dishes list. Grilled eggplant tastes divine when prepared correctly, but it’s crucial to adhere to two specific conditions.

Eggplant has been gaining popularity alongside the growing interest in vegetarian cuisine. It seems we've reached a point where even habitual meat-eaters can appreciate the creativity that goes into crafting meatless dishes. Our taste buds and bodies can be thankful for this paradigm shift in culinary inspiration, with grilled eggplant as a prime example.

My initial attempt at preparing grilled eggplant revealed a naïve mistake: underestimating the importance of selecting the right vegetable at the store. Back then, I paid meticulous attention to choosing meat but barely scrutinized vegetables. Now, I recognize that selecting eggplant requires careful consideration.

The Essential Rules for Grilled Eggplant

First and foremost is the selection of the eggplant. Opt for small, glossy-skinned, blemish-free ones. A good grilled eggplant is firm and plump when raw; larger eggplants tend to have tougher skins, so younger specimens are preferable. However, choosing the right eggplant is a crucial step to avoid bitterness.

Proper preparation is key. After slicing the eggplant, sprinkle the slices with salt and let them rest in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. This process, followed by rinsing and drying, is essential for perfect taste.

Spicing up Grilled Eggplant

Though it might seem elementary, it’s important to highlight that grilled eggplant benefits from the right combination of spices, like almost any food. There are two flavor profiles that I find to complement the texture and taste of eggplant exceptionally well. The first is "Italian"—a mix of olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. The second is "Asian"—a blend of soy sauce, chopped ginger, garlic, and chili if you like a bit of heat.

Grilled eggplant will be tasty if you choose a good vegetable.
Grilled eggplant will be tasty if you choose a good vegetable.© Canva | Srattigan

Before you start grilling, rub these spices onto the eggplant and score the flesh in a grid pattern. This preparation ensures the spices penetrate deeply, making the grilled eggplant more flavorful than you could imagine.

Related content