Because we have a very busy family, I have a deep and abiding passion for speedy side dishes. Those days when we’re caught in traffic, or need to hustle off somewhere after dinner, demand fast dishes. They get bonus points if they look and taste much more impressive than the twenty minutes I usually have to put them together. Happily, grilled eggplant meets those requirements.
Now I happen to love eggplant, which probably makes me a weirdo. I’m okay with that, though, since it means that it is generally not too expensive and there is plenty of it in stock when I’m at the store. Cooking it like this makes it useful the next day, too: when I grill it this way, eggplant makes a wonderful wrap for sandwiches (thank you, Diana Rodgers,* for that inspiration).
Cooking notes: If you’ve made a flavored oil, use that here. It adds even more oomph to the flavor. Eggplant is quite neutral, so whatever flavoring you add works wonderfully. If you don’t have herbes de Provence, try mixing equal parts parsley, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. It’s not an exact match, but it is close enough to give you a similar flavor.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or other fat of choice, divided
- 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 eggplant, sliced vertically, about 1/4" thick
- Lay out the slices of eggplant on a cutting board; sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat a griddle pan over high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to pan.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, herbs, salt and pepper, stirring thoroughly.
- Using a paper towel, gently wipe the salt and moisture from the eggplant, then coat front and back of each slice with the oil mixture.
- Lay the eggplant slices on the griddle at a diagonal. Sear for 2 minutes. (If crosshatching is desired, you will need to pick up the slice and replace it on the griddle at the opposite angle after the first minute of cooking.) Repeat for the second side.
- Remove slices from heat; serve immediately.
* = Affiliate link.