Friday, August 29, 2008

End of August - Hotel Ozone

Following the theme of the simple Pizza I will present some more of the simple foods that I associate with the harvest season.

One is grilled eggplant. The goal is simply to grill the eggplant until it is soft without burning it or having it stick to the grill. This doesn't require a recipe but it may take a few tries to get it just right.

Start with small eggplants 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. As small as you can conveniently cook without having them falling through the grill. I like the white and purple ones, like these from Tom Rumple. It is a lot easier to see the color change of the skin of these as they cook than it is on pure purple ones.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place the cut surface in a pan of olive oil and lemon juice for about 1/2 hour. I use about 2 parts oil and 1 part lemon juice. The ratio is not important and you can use oil only. The eggplant will absorb the oil, reduce the tendency to stick to the grill, and increase the heat transfer. The lemon juice reduces the amount of oil absorbed and reduces flame up on the grill.

Place on a moderate to low temperature oiled grill, cut side down. The ability to close the grill cover to stop any flame up is helpful, but you can start cooking at the grill edge and then move them to the center. Cook and time the cooking until the eggplants look done but not burned. It will only be 3 to 5 minutes, flip and cook on the reverse side for about the same time, maybe a minute less.

Eat them!

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