I never knew how much I loved eggplant until I moved to Greece. I even love the word, μελιτζάνα (pronounced: meh-lee-tzah-nah).
Even though food vocabulary was the first set of words I made sure to learn in Greek (for obvious reasons), I always got an English menu when we went out to eat. While I never saw eggplant listed, I did see a lot of something I was unfamiliar with- aubergine.
That’s what the Brits call eggplant, as it turns out. And zucchinis are courgettes, and arugula is rocket… Just a heads up if you ever find yourself craving any of those guys on the other side of the pond!
Of all the ways I enjoyed eggplant while in Greece, grilled was my favorite. It’s sturdy enough to stand up to a flame, and its mellow flavor is complimented so well with a little char.
In Greece, grilled eggplant is usually cooked with olive oil, lemon, and oregano. I love playing around with the seasonings, and this Asian-inspired one might be my favorite. It makes it onto our summer rotation pretty regularly.
- 1 medium to large size eggplant
- juice of 1-2 limes
- 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
- 1-2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger, or 1/4 tsp powdered
- 1/2 tsp salt
- few grinds of black pepper
- 1.5 tsp soy sauce* or Coconut Aminos
- 2 tsp honey
- chili flakes to taste
Slice the eggplant lengthwise. Your aim here is to get the slices roughly the same thickness to ensure that they cook evenly.
In a small dish, combine the lime juice, crushed garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce or Coconut Aminos.
Brush about half of the dressing onto both sides of the eggplant slices, and smack them onto a medium-high heat grill.
With the lid closed, grill on each side for about 4-5 minutes, brushing with more dressing before you flip. Remove from grill and set aside to rest. Add honey and chili flakes to the remaining dressing, and drizzle over grilled slices.
Congratulations, your grill just found its new best friend.
*I’ve written before about why I generally avoid soy products, but traditionally fermented soy products are an exception I will make.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.