Grilled Eggplant Dressed in Olives & Orange

eggplant anchovy

This is another variation on grilled eggplant, from the good folks at Fine Cooking. The densely flavored vinaigrette can be drizzled on lamb, fish or chicken, or on oven-roasted vegetables.

For the vinaigrette:

2 anchovy fillets (preferably salt packed), rinsed
1 small clove garlic
Kosher salt
1/4 C black olives, such as Niçoise or Kalamata, rinsed well, pitted, and chopped finely
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 T fresh orange juice
2 T red-wine vinegar; more to taste
½ t finely chopped orange zest
Freshly ground black pepper

chopped mint for garnish

For the eggplant:

1 large globe eggplant (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
3 T extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
Kosher salt

Make the vinaigrette:

Mash anchovy and garlic, adding a pinch of salt as needed to make a paste. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Whisk in the olives, olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, and orange zest. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more red wine vinegar, if necessary.

Grill the eggplant:

Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire or use a grill pan, set at medium-high. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well marked on the second sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard.  Just before serving, whisk the vinaigrette again and spoon it over the grilled eggplant—you may not need it all—or serve on the side. Garnish with chopped mint.

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