This is by far the best grilled eggplant I’ve ever had. One night recently when the weather was perfect for grilling I had some eggplant, so I thought I’d make up a recipe. I accidentally added too much balsamic vinegar which ended up being a blessing in disguise. This is one of the keys to this recipe, adding way too much balsamic vinegar. It completely changes the flavor of the eggplant once it’s completely grilled. It gives the eggplant a meatiness and sweetness that compliments the savory eggplant perfectly. The first time I made this recipe, I got some nice grill marks and I thought it was done, but when I ate it, the flavor was totally there, but the middle of the eggplant wasn’t one hundred percent cooked. I needed to redeem myself as soon as possible.
The next night I was grilling again and my goal was to make this eggplant perfect. Cutting the eggplant in wide half moons as seen above allows you to flip it onto every side. Being able to stand it up on the skin side down is the most important part because nobody likes eating eggplant with skin that you have to chew. Grilling the skin side first makes the skin soft and easy to bite into.
I wanted to keep this recipe really simple so besides balsamic, there is just olive oil, thyme, oregano, fresh garlic, salt, and black pepper. For such few ingredients, this eggplant is extremely flavorful. Eggplant is like a sponge so when you marinate it before grilling and then throw it back in the marinade after it becomes almost like eggplant candy. It is both sweet and savory.
This is a great side dish by itself but there are some other ways I like to eat it too. It’s amazing on top of good crusty sourdough bread. Also, a sandwich with the grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, arugula, provolone cheese, and toasted bread is really good too. I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know how it came out! I hope you love it as much as I do!
1largeeggplant, or 2 medium cut in half moons (thick enough to stand up on skin side)
3clovesfresh garlic, chopped
2/3cupextra virgin olive oil
In a bowl, add the cut eggplant. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.
Add the dried thyme, oregano, garlic, balsamic, and olive oil. Toss well with your hands, making sure all the eggplant is coated in the liquid from the bottom of the bowl. Let marinate for 10 minutes, toss around eggplant after 5 minutes of marinating.
Heat the grill to medium heat.
Once the grill is hot, put the eggplant on skin side down. Keep the bowl with the marinade because the finished eggplant are going back in the same bowl. They should be cut thick enough so that they stand up on the skin easily. Flip the eggplant every 3 minutes or so until every side has touched the grill.
The key is to keep grilling the eggplant until they are practically falling apart when you pick them up. If they aren't soft, the middle isn't fully cooked through. They will get black and charred, and this is what you are looking for.
Once the eggplant is falling apart, transfer them back to the marinade. Let them cool for 5 minutes and soak up more marinade, and serve.
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.