Grilled Eggplant with Chili, Capers & Mint

With the temperature in Rome continuing to climb, I’m once more heading south for the weekend to kick back on the coast. And between working, stumbling through Italian classes, and watching the Azzurri work their way to the UEFA Euro finals, I haven’t had much time to pack. Or cook.

Upload from June 29, 2012

So today, between throwing my weekend gear in a backpack and scrubbing another round of chocolate gelato stains out of my white clothes, I’m grilling eggplant and snapping shots of the stuff perched atop my drying rack (my hand model is at work). You know, the usual.

By necessity, the photos are sparse and the recipe is a speedy one (departure time: t-minus 2 hours!), but that’s precisely what you want when the thermometer’s climbing and there’s sun to be enjoyed. 

Upload from June 29, 2012

The salad is tasty as-is, but would be equally enjoyable bulked up with a big handful of arugula and a cup of cooked chickpeas, or served atop bruschetta with a sprinkling of goat cheese. Personally, I’ll be eating the stuff packed between two slices of tasty bread, alongside fresh ricotta, tomatoes and greens, as I travel down the coast, trying as best I can not to spill the stuff on my whites. 

Happy weekend, friends!
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Grilled Eggplant with Chili, Capers & Mint
Adapted from smitten kitchen
Makes about 2.5 cups 

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant, cut into ½ cm rounds
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp little capers, rinsed
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 big pinch of chili flakes
2-4 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Directions

1. Using 2 of the 5 tbsp of olive oil, lightly brush the eggplant slices with oil. Grill slices on the BBQ or a stovetop grill until they begin to brown and grill marks form, flipping halfway through (about 8-10 minutes total).  

2. While eggplant is grilling, stir together in a large bowl the remaining 3tbsp of olive oil, along with the wine vinegar, capers, pepper, salt and chili flakes. When the eggplant have finished grilling, cut the hot rounds into bite-sized pieces and toss in the marinade. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.

3. A few minutes before eggplant is finished marinating, toss in mint. Let marinate for a few minutes more. Taste, season, and serve! 

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