How To: Make grilled eggplant

Make grilled eggplant

Enjoy some eggplant at your next barbecue. If there's any left over, blend it with a little lemon, garlic, and salt and you've got a tasty baba ghanoush. Watch this video to learn how to make grilled eggplant.

Step 1. Clean the grill

Clean the grill. For a charcoal grill, light some coals; with a gas grill, set it on high and close the lid. After about 20 minutes, let the grill cool. Then scrape off the burnt-on bits with a steel brush, and end by wiping down the grill with a clean cloth soaked in vegetable oil.

Step 2. Heat the grill

Heat a gas or electric grill to medium. If it's a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are ash-colored.

Step 3. Cut the eggplant

Rinse the eggplant and then cut it in half lengthwise. If it's large, cut it like you would a loaf of bread, into half-inch thick slices.

Some cooks swear by the fact that "male" eggplants are less bitter than "female" eggplants. To find a male, look at the indentation at the bottom; if it's shallow and round, it's male. A deep, dash-shaped dent indicates a female.

Step 4. Salt it

Salt the eggplant halves or slices and let them drain in a colander for 20 minutes; the salt removes the eggplant's bitterness. Then rinse off the salt and pat very dry with paper towels.

Step 5. Brush with oil

Brush the eggplant generously with vegetable oil on all sides and salt to taste.

Step 6. Grill it

Grill until tender, turning occasionally, from six to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices.

FACT: Eggplant is a fruit, not a vegetable.

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