Grilled aubergine with mint and basil

Grilled aubergine with mint and basil

By
From
How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

I love the smoky flavour of grilled aubergines and they go so well with roasted quail. If possible use the pale purple, fat, round Sicilian variety of aubergine, which has a creamy white top. Otherwise the long, thin purple violetta variety, also from Italy, is similarly thin-skinned with a good, firm texture. If I’m grilling aubergine slices, I rarely bother to salt them first as I consider it unnecessary.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium aubergines
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing and to drizzle
few squeezes lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped
handful basil sprigs, leaves only, roughly torn
few mint sprigs, leaves only, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
a little aged balsamic vinegar, to drizzle

Method

  1. Cut the aubergines into 3mm slices – either lengthways or into rounds, whichever you prefer. Preheat the grill to medium and brush the aubergine slices on both sides with a little olive oil.
  2. You will probably need to grill the aubergine slices in batches. Lay them on the grill rack and grill for several minutes until well browned on one side before turning to colour the other side. Let them char around the edges slightly – this will impart a lovely smoky flavour. Just make sure you grill the aubergines until they are properly cooked through.
  3. As each batch browns, remove it to a large plate. And, while still hot, drizzle over a little more olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkling of chopped garlic and a scattering of herbs, then season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in a low oven. Continue in this way until all the aubergine slices are cooked and dressed.
  4. Arrange the warm aubergines on a serving plate and drizzle over a little aged balsamic vinegar just before serving.
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