Hey, everyone! How are you?
Are you loving summer as much as I am right now?
This summer has been glorious food-wise and I have been taking HUGE advantage of the town’s farmer’s market each weekend. It not only serves as a good study break (T-minus 3 weeks until the big RD exam!), but also a great source of meal inspiration throughout the week.
I walked away this past weekend with a bunch of beets, a ginormous head of romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, my beloved whole wheat sourdough bread…
…and probably the most beautiful eggplant that I have ever seen in my life. It was screaming “BUY ME”, so I grabbed it and decided right then and there that I was going to grill it (the farmer who was bagging up my purchases agreed with me).
So that’s what I did.
I sliced up the most beautiful eggplant ever into thick rings (about ¾ of an inch thick) and then laid the slices in a colander and salted them with some kosher salt (about 1½ teaspoons for a medium-sized eggplant). This helps bring out the excess liquid in the eggplant and it also helps draw out the bitterness that eggplants are known for. After letting the eggplant sit for about 45 minutes, I gently rinsed off the salt and patted the eggplant dry. This method can be used not only for grilled eggplant, but eggplant that you are going to pan-saute, fry, or roast!
Then I sprinkled on some olive oil, some more kosher salt, ground black pepper, and some fresh thyme leaves (totally optional).
All that was left was to pop these babies on a hot grill and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Just what grilled eggplant should be – charred and smoky on the outside and soft on the inside! And no bitter taste, so this is a great veggie side dish to serve to your more veggie-adverse family members.
They were delicious as a side for grilled steak and absolutely amazing as the star in this sandwich I whipped up with the leftovers (more on that later this week!).
Hope you are having a great week, kiddos!
Your eggplant lovin’ friend,
1 medium-sized eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Leaves from 3-4 springs of thyme (optional)
1. Slice the eggplant into ¾-inch slices (approximately 8-10 slices per eggplant). Lay the slices in a colander in a sink (or over a bowl) and salt the slices with 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Set the eggplant slices aside for 45 minutes to draw out the excess liquid and bitterness. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt and pat it dry.
2. Coat the eggplant slices with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, the black pepper, and the thyme leaves. Place the slices on a pre-heated grill (I heat my gas grill on medium-high heat) and cook the slices for 4-5 minutes per side or until they become slightly charred and have good grill marks.
Serve the eggplant alongside your favorite main dishes or use as an addition to sandwiches, salads, or pasta!
Nutritional Information (1 serving):
66 calories • 8.5gm carbohydrates • 4gm fiber • 1.5gm protein • 3.5gm fat • 0.5gm saturated fat • 480mg sodium • 0mg cholesterol • 0.5mg iron • 17mg calcium