Grilled Eggplant ~ recipe ~

This is a fabulous summer side dish or appetizer. We make it every summer on our grill.

2 firm medium sized eggplants
2 T kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar + 1 T
2 cloves minced fresh garlic cloves
a few grinds fresh black pepper
provolone cheese slices (about 4)
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (optional)
handful fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped

Slice eggplant into thick slices, discarding stem and ends.
Sprinkle generously with salt and allow to drain in a colander for about 20 minutes.
Rinse well with water.
Whisk together 1/2 cup vinegar, oil, garlic and pepper. Pour over eggplant slices and toss to coat evenly.

Heat grill to medium hot.
Grill eggplant slices, turning once they are browned on first side.
When browned on both sides (but not burnt) add 1/4 slice of provolone cheese atop each slice and close grill to melt cheese.
When cheese is bubbling, remove eggplant slices to a platter.
Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Great with grilled fish or chicken.
Delicious next day served cold or hot over pasta.

Also good with lemon juice instead of final sprinkling of vinegar...and with sliced tomatoes.