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How to Grill Eggplant on the BBQ

Eggplants are botanically fruits, but in the kitchen we refer to them as vegetables.

Native to India, this plant is featured in dishes all around the world. From Indian sambar, South Asian baingan, Romanian salată de vinete, French ratatouille, and Greek moussaka, this culinary vegetable is a world-traveler.

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The eggplant is so widespread across the world because of it’s versatility. Though bitter when eaten raw, the meaty and tender flesh of the eggplant is extremely absorbent, particularly of fats and oils. This means that it can be seasoned in almost any way possible. In fact, it is so absorbent that many recipes call for the plant to be salted, rinsed, and drained to reduce its rate of absorption. However, most modern eggplants we encounter in the supermarkets have been cultivated to not need this treatment, so unless the recipe specifically calls for it you don’t need to worry about this step of preparation.

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These purple plants can taste rather bitter when eaten raw, but because of this absorption they can be added to almost anything. They are a particular favorite among vegetarians because of the texture of the meaty skin. Since eggplants are also large vegetables, they also yield a huge amount of meat that can be used for vegetarian and vegan cooking.

Eggplants are packed with numerous health benefits. In addition to being delicious, they are a great source of fiber, aid in weight loss, improve brain functioning, and help protect against cancer and anemia. They also have high concentrations of several essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B66, copper, potassium and manganese, which help promote an overall healthy diet.

Why grill eggplant?

Eggplant is a great choice for any barbecue party because of its satisfying texture and ability to absorb flavors. Grilling vegetables has a number of health benefits and is a communal activity. Your eggplant will taste better off the grill than after many other cooking processes.

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Whether you are choosing to cook it as a side dish or the main feature itself, grilled eggplant will fit in perfectly with other dishes that you are serving. This super simple method of cooking will create a new crowd favorite.

Ingredients

To grill an eggplant perfectly, you only need a few ingredients. It’s likely that you already have these in your kitchen, but if not they are all available at major grocery stores.​

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  • One large eggplant
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Wash the eggplant

Washing your eggplant is incredibly important because you never know what is on it! Even if the eggplant is organic and grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers, it’s likely that it’s been touched by tons of different people.

To wash your eggplant, simply run it under cold water in the sink for a few minutes, rubbing the fruit to remove the impurities that lie on top of the skin.

Peel the eggplant

To further ensure that your eggplant is clean, you’ll want to peel the skin off of the fruit. Some supermarkets and growers are known to cover their eggplants with a wax coating, and we think it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Additionally, some people have a hard time digesting the skin of eggplants, so peeling is always the best option.

To peel your eggplant, cut the green stem off of the top with a large kitchen knife. Then take a potato peeler and use it to shave off the skin.

Cut the peeled eggplant into slices.

Lay your eggplant on a cutting board and cut the fruit into small ¾ inch thick slices.

Lay the slices out on a cookie sheet that is covered by a piece of parchment paper for easy clean up. Spread them out evenly and ensure that they are easily transportable, as you’ll be moving the entire batch to the grill in a few minutes!

Melt the butter, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning in a microwave-safe bowl

Combine the butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a microwave-safe bowl. Stick this in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds, or until the butter has melted completely to form a liquid.

Stir the butter mixture thoroughly with a fork or spoot to ensure the spices are spread through it evenly for a consistent flavor across the different slices.

Lightly brush the eggplant with the butter mixture

Dip a kitchen brush into the butter mixture and lightly coat each piece of eggplant on the parchment paper.

Once each slice of eggplant is evenly covered, sprinkle with salt and pepper to add extra flavoring.

Grill the eggplant

Place the eggplant slices on the barbecue over a medium heat. Grill for roughly 10 minutes, consistently turning the slices over to ensure even cooking of the vegetable. If you need to add more of the butter mixture, simply brush it over the slice.

Your eggplant is done when the meat is tender. Serve it as a side dish or as the main feature, depending on your audience.

Eggplant for everyone

If you’re looking for a healthy but hearty treat to serve at your next barbecue, look no further than grilled eggplant. This purple superfruit can be cooked in a variety of ways to accommodate a variety of diets, and is sure to leave your guests satisfied. Whether you want a meat substitute or simply a vitamin-packed appetizer, grilled eggplant slices are an easy and delicious meal!​

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