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RegGuheert

I grilled eggplant today...

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...and it wasn't very good. :thumbdown:  Fortunately, I also grilled chicken and hamburgers.  Those were awesome!  :drool:

 

MomsintheGarden grew eggplant in her garden for the first time ever this year and these were the first-fruits of those plants.  She makes an awesome eggplant parmesan, and will probably be doing that with other eggplants we get this summer, but we would like to also learn how to grill them.

 

Do you grill eggplant?  If so, can you tell us how you prepare it (thickness of slices? remove skin? spices? other?) and how you cook it (grill temperature?)?  How can you tell when it is done?  How do you serve it once it is grilled?  Do you add toppings?  Eat it on a bun?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

P.S.  In case it makes a difference, I'm a bit of a grill purist: We only have charcoal grills.  No gas here.

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I can't get eggplant to turn out no matter how I cook it. I've decided that my ancestral people did not mess around with eggplant, ever.

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I slice it about an inch thick, skin off and brush olive oil/avocado oil/which ever I grab first on it. Grill over low to medium heat until done and sprinkle with your favorite cheese, salt and pepper.

 

If the eggplant is really ripe, I find it has a wired unpleasant flavor in the grill. It makes a better eggplant parmesan then.

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I slice it about an inch thick, skin off and brush olive oil/avocado oil/which ever I grab first on it. Grill over low to medium heat until done and sprinkle with your favorite cheese, salt and pepper.

 

Thanks!  We had slices about 3/4" thick, skin on.  I had them over quite high heat.  MomsintheGarden had brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled garlic powder, salt, and pepper on each side.  I put a little parmesan cheese on mine when I ate it.

 

So this is a quite bit different than what you do.  We'll give your approach a try next time.

 

If the eggplant is really ripe, I find it has a wired unpleasant flavor in the grill. It makes a better eggplant parmesan then.

 

O.K.  Unfortunately, I don't know enough to understand what "really ripe" means.  Can you tell me how you decide about that?

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Thanks! We had slices about 3/4" thick, skin on. I had them over quite high heat. MomsintheGarden had brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled garlic powder, salt, and pepper on each side. I put a little parmesan cheese on mine when I ate it.

 

So this is a quite bit different than what you do. We'll give your approach a try next time.

 

 

O.K. Unfortunately, I don't know enough to understand what "really ripe" means. Can you tell me how you decide about that?

If it is slightly squishy not firm.

 

Low and slow will help. Also, if you are feeling adventurous, add some soaked wood chips in a container to the grill to add flavor. Those come out really good. Cherry and apple wood are great.

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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I've not grilled eggplant, but when I've had it, the cook has salted it, let it sit for maybe an hour (?), and then rinsed off the juices. Then you can brush with oil and season however you'd like.

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So funny, but I read your title and thought, "So did I, and it wasn't good."  I was hoping you had some magical way.  I just did some tonight and didn't think it was that good. Pretty much the only way I like eggplant is with some sort of tomato sauce. 

 

 

 

 

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I don't know about eggplant, but I also had an Independence Day fail. I'm a pretty good cook, generally. But I experimented a little today, and my cake fell apart. It literally fell apart. It tasted pretty good, but boy, I sure was glad I was only serving it to family, and not guests. :P

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I slice it thinner--maybe 1/3 in thick, or a little less--and marinate in a little lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, salt and olive oil. Very generous with the oil! Grill on medium. I especially like eggplant with grilled tomatoes or tzatziki on the side. 

 

I'm not crazy about eggplant grilled dry. Sufficient oil is necessary to make it melt-in-your-mouth, imho.

 

If the eggplant is particularly bitter, salting and squeezing out the juices before marinating can help. 

 

ETA: yes, I leave the skin on, it's done when I like the look of the grill marks and the flesh is starting to become translucent rather than opaque, and I serve it in a heap of grilled veggies alongside grilled meat. If we're being fancy, like today, I'll also make sides of couscous or rice, salad and/or tzatziki or hummus. But I love my low maintenance grill nights--a giant bowl of marinated veggies goes on the grill first, then some sort of marinated meat, and that's dinner! 

 

Amy

Edited by Acadie
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I love grilled eggplant. I buy the slender Japanese eggplants, taking care to choose ones that are heavy for their size (fresh). Then I slice in four lengthwise; if I goof and a piece comes out thick I slice again. I guess the slices are half an inch thick or thereabouts, no problem if thinner.

 

I put oil (olive plus vegetable, all olive would be too $$) in a dish and put the some eggplant in for a minute or so -- it really soaks up oil. Then I grill some and put rest in oil, adding more oil if necessary.

 

I grill on the stove on a grill/griddle pan with ridges. Takes a few minutes per side, until there are grill marks. I salt with kosher salt as I grill. Delicious!

 

I have never tried grilling Italian eggplant, but when I use it for other recipes, I salt and drain. Italian eggplant is sort of squishy/spongy compared to Japanese, imo.

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I slice it thinner--maybe 1/3 in thick, or a little less--and marinate in a little lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, salt and olive oil. Very generous with the oil! Grill on medium. I especially like eggplant with grilled tomatoes or tzatziki on the side.

 

I'm not crazy about eggplant grilled dry. Sufficient oil is necessary to make it melt-in-your-mouth, imho.

 

If the eggplant is particularly bitter, salting and squeezing out the juices before marinating can help.

 

ETA: yes, I leave the skin on, it's done when I like the look of the grill marks and the flesh is starting to become translucent rather than opaque, and I serve it in a heap of grilled veggies alongside grilled meat. If we're being fancy, like today, I'll also make sides of couscous or rice, salad and/or tzatziki or hummus. But I love my low maintenance grill nights--a giant bowl of marinated veggies goes on the grill first, then some sort of marinated meat, and that's dinner!

 

Amy

Yes! Thin slices and lots of oil.

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Most important was always to salt the eggplant first before I tried to do anything with it to avoid the bitter taste. Leave salt on for several minutes. When eggplant looks like it's developing cyanosis = turning blue, rub off salt and rinse eggplant.

 

Other than that I'd think grilling would be delicious, possibly with a little marinade of olive oil, pepper and salt and some green herbs like dried thyme or rosemary.

Edited by Liz CA
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I'm not crazy about eggplant grilled dry. Sufficient oil is necessary to make it melt-in-your-mouth, imho.

 

I think that was the main issue.  Thinking about it, one of the things I like about MomsintheGarden's eggplant parmesan is the greasy breadedness of it all.  But I think if I had put oily eggplant on the hot part of the grill I used today, it would have simply burst into flames! :ohmy:

 

If the eggplant is particularly bitter, salting and squeezing out the juices before marinating can help.

 

It wasn't bitter.  More...charred! :tongue_smilie:

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I slice it thinner--maybe 1/3 in thick, or a little less--and marinate in a little lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, salt and olive oil. Very generous with the oil! Grill on medium. I especially like eggplant with grilled tomatoes or tzatziki on the side. 

 

I'm not crazy about eggplant grilled dry. Sufficient oil is necessary to make it melt-in-your-mouth, imho.

 

If the eggplant is particularly bitter, salting and squeezing out the juices before marinating can help. 

 

ETA: yes, I leave the skin on, it's done when I like the look of the grill marks and the flesh is starting to become translucent rather than opaque, and I serve it in a heap of grilled veggies alongside grilled meat. If we're being fancy, like today, I'll also make sides of couscous or rice, salad and/or tzatziki or hummus. But I love my low maintenance grill nights--a giant bowl of marinated veggies goes on the grill first, then some sort of marinated meat, and that's dinner! 

 

Amy

 

Yeah I think mine would have been improved with something acidic. 

 

I used plenty of oil, but no acid. 

 

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The most important thing with eggplant is getting it all the way done. Undercooked eggplant is disgusting.

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I haven't been able to get eggplant to turn out well. I've never eaten it anywhere else, so maybe this is just how it tastes. I never thought about grilling it.

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I prefer Japanese eggplant, but the grocery stores around here rarely have it. It is so good grilled and put on pizza. 

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Pseudo-grilling, like on a George Foreman type grill, might be your best bet. I've not tried eggplant that way, but zucchini and squash are successes.

 

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm wondering if I really should have handed that gadget off to one of my young adults...

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