Hey, What’s Cookin’?
In keeping with our theme of summer’s abundance of produce, here’s a great vegetable side dish for any meal. Grilled eggplant and peppers is simple to prepare. The grilled vegetables are dressed with a tangy vinaigrette and then served warm or at room temperature, making them perfect for a dinner cookout or buffet.
The instructions may seem rather long, but don’t be scared! Both the vinaigrette and the vegetables are totally uncomplicated and come together quickly. And don’t leave out the feta–it’s a very small amount and it provides great flavor! Try this recipe sometime this week–enjoy the fresh flavors of summer as much as you possibly can!
Grilled Eggplant and Peppers
Adapted from: recipes from Martha Stewart
For the Vinaigrette
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar or equivalent natural sugar substitute
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- On a cutting board, sprinkle the minced garlic with a pinch of salt and press it into a paste with the side of a knife. Transfer garlic paste to a medium bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, sugar, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper; whisk thoroughly. Drizzle the oil in slowly while whisking. Taste and adjust the seasonings; set aside.
For the Grilled Vegetables
- 2 large eggplants; ends trimmed (and peeled if you prefer) & sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
- Kosher salt
- 1 of each: red, yellow, orange, and green bell pepper; cored, seeded, and sliced lengthwise into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil or olive oil spray
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (3 ounces)
- Extra fresh chopped basil, for garnish
- Sprinkle the eggplant slices lightly with salt on both sides and place on wire racks. Set the racks aside until the eggplant begins to “sweat,” usually in 15 to 20 minutes. Blot the eggplant dry with paper towels.
- Light the grill and bring to medium heat. Arrange the eggplant and all the bell pepper slices on a large baking sheet. Spray or lightly brush both sides of all the pieces with the olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Transfer the eggplant and peppers to the grill (in batches if necessary) and cook until they are softened, turning them to promote even browning. 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer the grilled eggplant slices to a large platter, and top them with the pepper strips. Garnish with the crumbled feta and minced marjoram. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, garnish with the extra basil, and serve the grilled eggplant and peppers warm or at room temperature.
Photograph via Martha Stewart