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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grilled Eggplant with Feta Vinaigrette (Steven and Jessie)

Ingredients
1 small clove garlic
kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, very finely diced
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted and pounded in a mortar or ground in a spice grinder (or ground cumin)
Pinch of cayenne, more to taste
1 large globe eggplant (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil; more as needed
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste, or mince the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste with the side of a chef's knife.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste and 1 Tbs of the lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the shallot with the remaining 1/2 Tbs lemon juice and a pinch of salt in another small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk the olive oil, cumin, and cayenne into the garlic mixture. Season to taste with salt or cayenne if needed.

Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill (covered on a gas grill; uncovered on a charcoal grill) until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well marked on the second sides, another 3 to 4 minutes. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard.

Top the grilled eggplant slices with the shallots, feta, and herbs. Whisk the garlic-cumin vinaigrette and drizzle it on top. Serve immediately.


Comments
This is from Fine Cooking Magazine. No need to salt the eggplant! The size of the eggplant slices is important (if too thick will cook too much on the outside before the inside is done; if too thin, they might fall through the grill)

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