I hadn’t quite realized it until this year, but early fall is a great time for local eggplant. I can’t resist buying the Italian eggplant, purple and striped. I seem always to end up with a few extra in my refrigerator. In my opinion, really fresh and firm eggplant need not be salted to remove bitterness.

A recent article in the New York Times listed a flavor combination I couldn’t resist- honey, cumin and olive oil. I adapted the recipe by slicing the eggplant very thinly and adding fresh lemon. This eggplant is great topped with torn mint, tomato and onion. You can add it to a salad or in a hummus sandwich with feta. Yum!

Grilled and Marinated Eggplant

  • 3-4 medium sized firm Italian eggplant
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tablespoon high quality olive oil
  • Olive oil for grilling
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Trim the ends of the eggplant and slice lengthwise about ¼ “ thick. Brush each side with olive oil.
  2. Place on medium hot grill (or grill pan). After a couple minutes (when you can see the grill marks showing through), turn the eggplant and season the cooked side with salt and pepper. Cook the eggplant until it is translucent all over. White eggplant flesh is not cooked and will be bitter. *you may need to brush with additional olive oil while grilling.
  3. Mix the garlic, lemon juice, honey, paprika, cumin and olive oil. When the eggplant is done cooking but still warm, top with the marinade and mix.
  4. Save in the fridge for later or arrange as platter with tomatoes, onion, mint and enjoy!