Grilled Baby Eggplant Parmesan

 


Grilled baby eggplant is a perfect healthy side dish. Baby eggplant has tender skin and less tough than the larger eggplant. Make sure both sides are evenly coated with oil so they don't stick to the grates of the grill. Eggplant is done cooking when the flesh changes from white to golden brown and is tender when you pierced it with a knife or fork.
 

4 small (10 to 12 oz. each) eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup jarred marinara sauce
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves



Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) on 1 side. Sprinkle cut sides of eggplants evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and let stand 10 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Brush cut sides of eggplants evenly with oil, and sprinkle with pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Place eggplants, cut sides down, on oiled grates over lit side of grill. Grill, covered, until eggplants are tender and grill marks appear, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn eggplants. Cook, covered, 5 minutes.

Move eggplants to oiled grates over unlit side of grill, and top evenly with marinara, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mozzarella. Grill, covered, until cheeses are melted and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with basil leaves. Serve immediately.

CREDIT: GREG DUPREE; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH; FOOD STYLING: ANNA HAMPTON


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