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This is the simplest way to prepare eggplant, and it makes a delicious side dish.
1. Peel the eggplant if the skin is thick or the eggplant is less than perfectly firm. Cut it into ½-inch thick slices and salt it if you like (see opposite). Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill or broiler; the rack should be 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
2. Stir the optional garlic into the olive oil, then brush one side of the eggplant slices with the oil. Place, oiled side down, on a baking sheet or directly on the grill. Sprinkle with salt (if you salted the eggplant, hold off) and pepper, then brush with more oil.
3. Broil or grill until browned on both sides, turning once or twice and brushing with more oil if the eggplant looks dry. Serve hot or at room temperature, garnished with parsley.
Grilled or Broiled Eggplant Slices with Miso Dressing: Use canola or other neutral oil in place of olive oil, and omit the garlic. Broil or grill the eggplant, and serve with a dressing made by mixing together 4 tablespoons miso; 1 teaspoon sugar; 1 tablespoon mirin (or ½ tablespoon honey, thinned with water); and rice or other mild vinegar to taste.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving and uses 4 tablespoons of olive oil.