Tender and perfectly charred, this Mediterranean Grilled Eggplant is finished with a drizzle of olive oil infused with garlic and jalapeno. It's a warm and smoky appetizer that's best served Mediterranean-style with whipped feta and pita.
Slice and salt the eggplant. Lay the eggplant slices on a large tray lined with paper towel. Salt the eggplant generously and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes while you work on other things. Beads of water will form. Wipe the eggplant dry and remove excess salt before grilling.
Make the garlic, jalapeno and olive oil sauce. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic, and jalapeno. Add a pinch of kosher salt and set aside (the lemon and olive oil will tame the hot peppers and the pungent taste of garlic).
If serving with whipped feta, follow this recipe but you do not need the nuts in this case.
When ready, heat a gas grill or an indoor griddle over medium-high and lightly oil the grates. Make sure the grill is fully heated before adding the eggplant.
Brush the eggplant slices on one side with olive oil.
Arrange the eggplant on the heated grill, oiled side down first. Grill anywhere for 3 to 4 minutes on this side or until some char marks form on the bottom, then turn over and brush the other side of the eggplant with olive oil. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and good char marks have formed on both sides.
Arrange the grilled eggplant on a large platter and immediately season with sumac and drizzle the olive oil and jalapeno mixture all over. Add the plate of feta and warmed pita bread for serving.
This eggplant recipe is best served immediately off the grill with the olive oil and garlic sauce on top and a side of whipped feta.
Whipped feta can be made one night ahead and saved in the fridge.
Other flavors to add: If you don't want to make the olive oil sauce or the whipped feta, grilled eggplant is great with any number of seasonings. I like to add a dash of za'atar or even dukkah on top.
Leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge in a tight-lid container for up to 3 days. I don't recommend reheating, you can enjoy it cold or at room temperature with a salad of your choice.
Nutrition information is a best estimate and pertains only to the grilled eggplant with olive oil sauce. The Whipped Feta Recipe can be viewed separately