Friday, May 11, 2012

Spicy Grilled Eggplant Recipe with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint

Spicy Grilled Eggplant
This spicy grilled eggplant is a favorite of my brother Rand, who does the fun headers for Kalyn's Kitchen
(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  I'm on the road driving home from Los Angeles, where I've been visiting my brother Rand and attending Camp Blogaway.  This Spicy Grilled Eggplant is Rand's very favorite recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen, and I'm glad I have my eggplant planted this year so I can make it later in the summer.  Meanwhile, if you have eggplant from the supermarket or Farmer's Market, I highly recommend this recipe.)

If you saw my last garden update, then you know I'm growing eggplant this year, and my first one was ready to harvest recently. I've grilled eggplant before, but I'm certainly not what you'd call an expert at cooking it, so I consulted a couple of cookbooks and settled on a recipe from Williams Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook, one of my favorite cookbooks, which I return to every summer for more grilling recipes. I followed their recommendation for salting the eggplant to remove some of the water before grilling. I sliced my eggplant about 1/2 inch thick, but next time I might slice it even thicker.

What makes this recipe so delicious is the spicy mixture the eggplant is mixed with after it's been grilled. I changed this part of the recipe a little, and I used some of the Aleppo Pepper I got from Burcu for the red pepper flakes. You can get Aleppo Pepper from Penzeys, or use the type of red pepper flakes you sprinkle on pizza. The cookbook suggested serving this as a main course with some feta cheese and Kalamata olives, which I think would be delicious, or you could use it as a side dish like I did. I hope I'll be getting some more eggplant soon from my little plant, because this recipe is a definite keeper, and I finally have eggplant in my Vegetables section. Here's how I made it.

Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper and Parsley
(Makes 2 servings, recipe can be doubled or tripled. Adapted from a recipe in Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook.)

1 medium globe eggplant or 2-3 long Asian eggplants
1-2 tsp. salt, to remove water from eggplant (not needed for Asian eggplant)
1-2 T olive oil, to brush eggplant for grilling
1 T chopped parsley
1 T chopped mint
(You can use 2 T of either mint or parsley if you don't have both.)

Spicy Sauce Ingredients:
2 T olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic puree (from a jar) or finely minced fresh garlic (or less if you don't love garlic)
1 tsp. Aleppo Pepper (or less, to taste. Use whatever kind of red pepper flakes you have.)
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but highly recommended)

Remove stem end and wash eggplant, but do not peel. Cut eggplant into slices 1/2 -3/4 inch thick, being careful to make all slices the same thickness. (Cut Asian eggplant on the diagonal to get bigger slices.) Put eggplant in colander in single layer and sprinkle with salt. Let drain 20 minutes, then turn over and sprinkle other side with salt and let drain 20 minutes more. (If you're using Asian eggplant, they don't need to be salted.)

While eggplant drains, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic puree, Aleppo Pepper, and Spike.

Preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for 3-4 seconds at that heat.) Remove eggplant from colander and put each piece between two papers towels and press with your hand to squeeze out water. Wipe eggplant dry and brush both sides with olive oil.

Place eggplant on grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, rotating after a few minutes on each side if you want to get nice grill marks. Watch them carefully because they go from nicely browned to overly dark quite quickly.

When eggplant is done, remove from grill and place in large plastic bowl. Pour in spicy sauce, and gently stir eggplant to coat with sauce. Let sit 10-15 minutes so eggplant can absorb sauce flavors. Chop mint and parsley while eggplant is resting in sauce.

To serve, assemble eggplant on serving plate and sprinkle with mint and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect vegetarian main dish or side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Serve with feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and Mary's Perfect Salad for a light meal for phase one. For phase two or three, this could be a side dish to go with something like Lamb Shish Kabobs with Wheat Pita and Tzatziki Sauce.

More Delicious Recipes for Grilled Eggplant:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Honey Syrup from A Veggie Venture
Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant from Beyond Salmon
Grilled Eggplant and Mushroom Miso Soup from Just Hungry
Eggplant and Goat Cheese "Sandwiches" with Tomato Tarragon Sauce from What Did You Eat
Grilled Eggplant Stacks from Kitchen Space
Yaki Nasu (Japanese Grilled Eggplant) from Tea and Cookies
Grilled Eggplant Tomato Salsa from Blog Appetit
Griddled Eggplant Rollups with Feta, Mint and Chilli from Vicious Ange
Eggplant, Tomato, and Basil Napoleon from Fresh Approach Cooking
Grilled Eggplant with Fenugreek from Food Glorious Food
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More to Chew On:


  1. Hooray for growing (and cooking!) your very own garden-fresh eggplant. I've got the mint and parsley in my herb I must find a friend with an eggplant! This dish looks delicious, and with feta and olives it sounds even better.

  2. wow, that looks so delish. My eggplants are so far behind but I am looking forward to the moment when I can grill a couple.

  3. I am slowly becoming a fan of eggplant. This could push me over the edge. Looks and Sounds wonderful... And I will try the salting. Not salting could be what has my only a partial fan....
    I'm just always in a hurry...

  4. I love eggplant and it is on my list of things to try to grill. Funny thing though I find it quite difficult to get the consistency right at home. Thanks for this.

  5. The mint I have by the ton! I won't be able to get a home grown eggplant but it will be a good one. Short break there while I ordered the Aleppo Pepper! So then I'll be making this! I do enjoy eggplant!

  6. Eggplant is my favorite!! Especially looks like you know what you are doing with it! That recipe looks great!!

  7. Mmm, 'tis the season for grilling. Looks great and carmelized. I wish I could grow things.

  8. I had no idea there were so many eggplant lovers out there. I do hope I get more (right now I only see one more on the plant!) I will admit, this is the first time I've tried the salting step, but it worked well.

  9. I haven't cooked with eggplants in quite a while now, Kalyn - this would be a wonderful recipe to try!

  10. This looks delish! Maybe I'll try to grow some eggplant next summer too.

  11. A friend of mine loves eggplant so much and I don't understand why (because I don't like eggplant that time) but when she made me taste the eggplant she cooked with a bit of spices added, I love it. Right now, I love eating those spicy eggplants she made. I'll tell her about this recipe and let see if she can cook it for me. This is exciting.

  12. I simply love eggplant, especially if it is grilled! Your dish looks delicious. Yummy!

  13. I love eggplant, but the rest of my family is not so open. Usually I have to hide it in some pasta sauce.

    Perhaps I can find one recipe from your awesome list that will appeal even to them.

    Thanks for the fantastic roundup.

  14. I am impressed, Kalyn. I love eggplant, but had bad luck trying to grow it last year. This does look good!

  15. If any of you out there are eggplant challenged like I am you are going to LOVE this recipe. Kalyn just warmed up the leftovers for Bradley and I and it was DIVINE. I take back all the bad things I've said about the eggplant I've cooked over the years. Thanks Kalyn.
    Rand (& Bradley)

  16. homegrown eggplants and herbs and spices... that looks absolutely delicious Kalyn.

  17. Oh yumm! That looks so wonderful. Aren't eggplants wonderful?

  18. What a coincidence--I'm just about to post a grilled eggplant recipe, too. It's definitely the season for it! I'll have to include a link to your recipe so that everyone can find all the others you've linked to.

  19. This sounds good. I have been seeing mint show up in a lot of interesting dishes lately. I will have to try using it more.

  20. I have to try this soon and btw your new header image is looking stunning are they the produce from your garden?

  21. Nice blog, very informative content. Would you mind if I ask you for a link exchange? Regards...

  22. Wow, I see I got way behind on replying to comments here. Sorry about that, but I do appreciate all the nice comments.

    Eggplant recipes, sorry but I don't do link exchanges. I only link to blogs that I read regularly.

  23. Kalyn,
    I did try this with pimenton (smoked paprika) instead of the spicier pepper and it was terrific. A good alternative for those that don't like the spicy stuff, and even for those that do.

    Since I also did some grill-roasted cauliflower at the same meal, I used the "extra" marinade and poured it over the hot cauliflower, and let it sit for a bit. Not quite as stunning as the eggplant (the cauliflower doesn't absorb as much), but still a nice flavor boost to something lots of people think of as bland.

  24. Jeff, thanks for the update as to how this worked with smoked paprika. And I think the idea of using the extra marinade in cauliflower is brilliant!

  25. This was my first attempt at grilling eggplant; so after searching online for ideas and how to's I settled on this recipe. The deciding factor, I am sorry to say was the pic that was included with blog - which looks delish. This was the first time anyone in my group ever grilled and ate roasted eggplants so this was a new venture. I received so many compliments on this dish, along with request for the recipe. This was a week ago, here I am grilling eggplant again, unfortunately didn't save recipe so I had to search for it again. I have never posted a feedback on a recipe I found online, but this recipe was awesome. Thanks.

  26. Jenny, thrilled to hear you liked it so much. This is definitely one of my favorite eggplant recipes. (And I love it that the photo got youto try it!)

  27. Excellent! I think the aleppo pepper adds a certain something...smokiness? Yesterday I snipped mint from a friend's garden, so I used all mint...scrumptious! Will definitely make again. (My grill ran out of gas, so today's meal was stovetop grill. Can't wait to try on the gas grill)

  28. Housigirl, I agree, I love Aleppo pepper!

  29. My mom loves eggplant! Thanks!

  30. That sounds utterly gorgeous, Kalyn! I've got four eggplants in our greenhouse, and obviously it'll be a while before I can eat any of those. Will have to decide whether I'll use supermarket eggplants or whether I wait and savour this recipe in August :)

  31. Stephanie, glad I was timely.

    Pille, that's the same problem I'm having myself!

  32. Wow! This sounds fantastic! I love eggplant and I love spicy!

  33. Shawn, in that case you MUST try this recipe. So, so good!

  34. Mint is a great addition to eggplant, they go perfectly together in my opinion. I'll definitely give this a try!

  35. I do agree, love the mint in this!

  36. This is an absolute yummy recipe, the best way to have eggplant as a side dish if you ask me. I made it many times after I spotted it on you blog. Thank you!


  37. Sandra, so glad you have enjoyed it!

  38. I'm pretty sure I've never had eggplant grilled before. Definitely need to try this one!


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