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Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs


I actually have to give credit to a friend for finding this recipe. He made this appetizer for a Mediterranean Feast a few of our friends cooked up a few weeks ago. The eggplant takes very little time to make and tastes so refreshing with the vinaigrette and herbs. I served it as one of the dishes for Memorial Day Dinner.

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs (courtesy of finecooking)
Yield: 9 slices of eggplant, depending on the size

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, very finely diced
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seed, lightly toasted and pounded in a mortar or ground in a spice grinder
  • Pinch cayenne; more to taste

For the eggplant:

  • 1 large globe eggplant (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • Kosher salt.
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint (can use more if you like)
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (can also use more if you like herbs)

Directions:

With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste, or mince the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife.

Combine the garlic paste and 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the shallot with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice and a pinch of salt in another small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk the olive oil, cumin, and cayenne into the garlic mixture. Season to taste with salt or cayenne, if necessary.

Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill (covered on a gas grill; uncovered on a charcoal grill) until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. I used my George Foreman Grill and it turned out just fine. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well marked on the second sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard.

Top grilled eggplant slices with the shallots, feta, and herbs. Whisk the vinaigrette and drizzle it on top. Serve immediately.

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2 Responses to “Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs”
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