There is this quaint little Italian place in our town, Frantonias, that how do I put this… well, I’m obsessed. It’s my go-to spot when I’m abandoning the boys for dinner (homemade gnoochi, Italian sausage, and red sauce for them), or when I’m simply starving for lunch and have no kitchen (Mediterranean tuna salad), or when we have about 17.5 minutes to eat in between a football outing and a baseball game (fresh slice of pizza, shoveled down). Basically, it’s the answer to every dining scenario including how to make the best grilled eggplant. Like ever.
Guys, this stuff no joke. Don’t like eggplant? That doesn’t matter. You will like this.
I got accustomed to buying it so often, like awkwardly often, that I finally asked the friendly older gentleman behind the counter what the secret was. Because when I grill eggplant it tastes not that great.
‘Oh it’s easy!’ He exclaims in his thick accent. ‘After you’re done grilling your seasoned eggplant, simply submerge them in balsamic and olive oil to marinate. That’s what gives it that flavor.’
Jackpot. This stuff has been in rotation ever since. Laid out with crispy baguettes as appetizers, given to friends a hostess gift (they are that good), and center stage at Ravinia picnics.
- egg plant, thinly sliced
- fresh oregano, minced
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Season up your eggplant generously with olive, salt, pepper, and oregano. Grill over medium heat for a few minutes a side, until you get the nice char marks.
- Remove and place in a bowl. Cover with a few more glugs of olive oil and a generous helping of balsamic vinegar. Let them marinade a bit before serving.