Basic Preparation: Fire Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant

If you have Listada or Lebanese eggplant (a.k.a. graffiti eggplant) and a grill

The tough skin of these eggplants makes it possible to grill them whole long enough to perfume the flesh with smoke. This technique is easier and way less labor intensive than sautéing. After charring and peeling you end up with a thick puree with a definitively smoky taste. Using this basic preparation, you can bend recipes in any direction from the Middle East to Italy to Asia.

Preheat your grill to a high temperature. As whole eggplant cook on the grill, internal juices build up and turn to steam. It is essential to first prick the skin with a fork in several places to avoid exploding eggplants. Cook directly on the grate, with the grill cover closed, occasionally rotating the eggplants until they are softened and black on all sides. Peel off the charred skin and reserve any pooling juices to add back into the finished dish. Chop the well-cooked smoky flesh and season. You can roast eggplants in a hot oven until they collapse, peel and continue with these recipes, but it’s not the same without the smoky taste from the grill.

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