Guest Post: Smoky Sweet Grilled Eggplant
September Cooking Tool of the Month – Grill
Today’s guest post comes from my good friend Jamey who runs DallasVegan.com and who helped me discover my summer love of grilled pineapple. He transforms one of my least favorite vegetables, eggplant, and makes it into something delicious for us! Enjoy and please share. What other things would you like to learn how to grill this month?
Smoky Sweet Grilled Eggplant by Jamey Scott
Grilling out on an open flame has always been portrayed as a “manly” thing to do – especially this time of year with summer BBQs, Football tailgating and the like. Grills, meat, and men are all synonymous (for an interesting look into the history of this phenomenon, read Carol Adams’ Sexual Politics of Meat).
Not surprisingly, I never quite understood the glorification of the grill – even before going veg. It wasn’t until I became vegan and began cooking much more on my own that I discovered the intricacies of grilling and how it can transform flavors of vegetables in ways conventional cooking can’t.
I remember how excited I was when I first got my “vegan” grill, not having to worry about what previous animal products may have been cooked on the surface. In Texas, summertime is a great time to grill, as you don’t have to heat up the inside of your house with the oven. One of my favorite things to grill is faux sausages (Field Roast Mexican Chipotle are amazing!) with bell peppers and onions. It’s so easy to chop up the veggies in large chunks, toss in a bit of olive oil, and throw on the grill with the sausages. I like to wrap these up in warm tortillas so the flavor of the sausage and veggies isn’t overpowered by a large bun.
Another grilled vegetable I’ve learned to love this year is the eggplant – it’s extremely versatile and holds up well to grilling. Eggplant are extremely porous – they quickly absorb liquid and have little flavor on their own, thus are perfect for experimenting with quick marinades. This easy Smoky-Sweet Eggplant recipe is tasty enough to eat on its own, but can also be used as a filling for tacos or with quinoa. Try substituting half the oil in this recipe with a flavored vinegar for a lower calorie dish and different flavor profile.
Smoky Sweet Grilled Eggplant
1 medium-large eggplant
1/2 cup. olive oil
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. parika
1 tsp. liquid smoke
Cut tips off of eggplant and then cut lengthwise in 1/2” slices. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour liquid mixture into shallow pan. Soak the eggplant slices in the pan for a few minutes on each side. Heat grill to medium-low.
Place eggplant on grill. After 5 minutes, turn eggplant over and grill for another 5 minutes. Eggplant should be golden brown, soft on the outside with a bit of firmness left on the inside.
What are your favorite things to marinate and grill? What kind of recipes would you like to see this month?
Jamey Scott is the founder of DallasVegan.com and the Texas State Veggie Fair. He enjoys running and swimming – and the occasional chocolate brownie sundae from his favorite vegan restaurant, Spiral Diner.
Grill Posts This Month
Grilled Cauliflower with Za’atar seasoning
How to Grill The Vegan Way by Kim