Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 206 :: FROM THE GARDEN
GRILLED EGGPLANT CAPRESE SALAD
Source: How to Grill by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2001)
Method: Direct Grilling
Advance
Preparation: 
Category: N/A
Ingredients:
For the eggplant:

2 slender eggplants, about 1 pound each
About 2 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


For the Caprese Salsa:

1 large ripe tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 piece fresh mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces), drained, if
necessary, and cut into 1/4inch dice
8 fresh basil leaves, slivered, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving (optional)


Directions:
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with the salt and let them sit for 30 minutes.
(The salt draws the water out of the eggplant, a process called disgorging.)

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

Rinse the eggplant slices under cold water and blot dry with paper towels. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over them, rubbing the oil over the slices with your fingers or a pastry brush. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with half of the oregano, black pepper, hot pepper flakes, if using, garlic, and parsley. Turn the eggplant slices, drizzle with the remaining oil, and sprinkle with the remaining oregano, black pepper, hot pepper flakes, garlic, and parsley.

When ready to cook, arrange the eggplant slices on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Rotate the slices 90 degrees after 3 minutes to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks. If the eggplant starts to burn before the slices are tender, lower the heat or move the slices to a cooler section of the grill. Transfer the eggplant slices to plates or a platter and let cool to room temperature. The grilled eggplants can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for 24 hours. Arrange the eggplant slices in a shingle pattern.

Make the Caprese Salsa. Combine the tomato, mozzarella, basil, oil, and lemon juice in a nonreactive mixing bowl but dont mix them. The salsa can be prepared up to this stage several hours ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, add salt and pepper to the salsa and gently toss to mix. Spoon the salsa over the eggplant and garnish with lemon wedges, if using, and basil sprigs.
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