Our Grilled Eggplant Halves With Herbs are an attractive and tasty companion for grilled lamb chops or sausage. When you score the surface in a crisscross pattern, the inside is succulent and soft, but where the scores meet, the eggplant is nice and crisp. Mmmm!
The key to eggplant is to select the freshest eggplant possible and use it quickly. An eggplant should feel heavy and firm with a glossy color. The skin should bounce back when you gently press on it. If you buy and eggplant that is too old or keep it too long, it becomes bitter.
Simple is best to us. Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling. We add fresh thyme. However, you can mix any flavoring you wish. Greek-style combines olive olive, minced onion, minced olives (or tapenade) with a garnish of feta cheese.
Note: You can also cook eggplant in the oven on a baking sheet, broiling about 5 inches from the top of the broiler. Broil about four minutes (keep an eye on the eggplant so it doesn’t char!), then rotate the baking sheet for another five minutes or so.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Then make a series of shallow gashes, 1 inch apart, diagonally across the surface of each half. Make another series of gashes in the opposite direction, creating a diamond-shaped grid. (You also want to cut about 1/4 inch deep into the flesh.)
- Brush the surface of the flesh with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter the thyme over the surface and then, using your fingertips, press some of the thyme down into the gashes.
- Place eggplant halves flesh side down on the grate of a gas or charcoal grill over medium-high heat, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush the skin sides with oil and turn the eggplants over. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Continue grilling until the flesh is browned and tender but not mushy. (The top should be a little crispy but the eggplant should give easily when you squeeze its sides.