Summer Fest: Grilled Eggplant Recipes

by in In Season, Recipes, June 22nd, 2011

grilled eggplant and goat cheese salad
summer festWe’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2011, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Today, we’re exploring eggplant.

A quick search on the Internet for eggplant recipes will quickly result in one Parmigiana recipe after another. While I can’t help but love that fried, cheesy dish — especially Alex Guarnaschelli’s version — there are numerous recipes that feature this purple, pear-shaped berry in lighter ways, especially on the grill, which will keep your kitchen cool during the summer months.

Ideal for entertaining or just a simple weeknight side, Giada’s Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad (pictured above) is ready in less than 20 minutes and makes for a stunning presentation. Grilled eggplant is tossed with olive oil, pine nuts, chopped mint and basil with crumbled goat cheese. Not a fan of goat cheese? Try her Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons that are layered with ricotta cheese, fresh basil, lemon and asparagus spears.

If you need a cheese-free dish to pair with grilled steak or chicken, try Bobby’s Farro Salad With Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes and Onion. If you’ve never cooked with farro before, it’s a cereal grain that belongs to the wheat family and has a chewy structure and a rich, nutty flavor. Bobby combines his farro with bold flavors from red onions, baby eggplants and fresh dill; a sherry vinaigrette brings the dish together.

Editor’s Note: When buying, look for smaller varieties — they usually have a sweeter flavor and a thinner skin.

Talk to us: What’s your favorite way to eat eggplant? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter at #cookingwith.

More eggplant recipes from family and friends:

Food2: Around the Eggplant in Eight Ways
What’s Gaby Cooking: Eggplant Chips with a Cilantro Cashew Dipping Sauce
Taste With The Eyes: Indian Eggplant, Lemon Confit, Garlic and Thai Basil
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Grilled Marinated Eggplant Sandwiches
Sassy Radish: Eggplant Caviar
The Little Kitchen: Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna
Big Apple Nosh: Baba Ganoush
Kimberly Michelle: Grilled E&O with Roasted P Panini

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