Exploding Eggplant:Grilled Italian Eggplant Slices

October 11, 2010

Anyone else have eggplant exploding from their garden? Well, actually, our garden isn’t exploding with eggplant; we’ve got enough mint to open a Mojito factory, but no eggplant. Luckily, I have several neighbors with an eggplant  problem, though, so we’ve benefitted nicely.

I avoid a lot of eggplant recipes. Thing is, eggplant is like a sponge, and the amount of olive oil called for in most eggplant recipes makes the hair stand up on my neck. My ass gets bigger just looking at those recipes. I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking at backside expansion, it’s going down with Twizzlers or nachos or mashed potatoes, thank you very much. I am not wasting butt space on eggplant.

Also, eggplant can be bitter, especially if you use the big, T-Rex sized eggplant that has tons of seeds. I really encourage you–unlike the recipe states–to use 2 smaller, younger eggplant rather than one big honker. You won’t be sorry, I promise.

I came across this recipe in Taste of Home magazine, the Healthy Cooking edition. These cute little eggplant slices will only set you back 134 calories (for two slices). That’s a pretty good bargain. Gobble these down and you have plenty of wiggle room for some nice garlic bread or perhaps a Mojito or two. Let me know if you need any mint, would you?

Grilled Italian Eggplant Slices

from Taste of Home

serves 4-5 as a side

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

5 teaspoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (I used rosemary)

1 large eggplant, cut into 8-10 slices (I used 2 medium eggplants)

8-10 slices tomato

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I used fresh)*

In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients.

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium. Grill eggplant,covered, for about 3 minutes. Turn eggplant. Spoon Parmesan mixture evenly over the slices and top each with a tomato. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Grill, covered, 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

* I’ll fess up: I used twice the amount of cheese called for. What can I say? KitchyWitchy has a bit of a cheese addiction. But I did some extra crunches at the gym, so I say, “screw it.”

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