I got this recipe from “Fine Cooking Annual, Volume 2″ and made a couple of loss adjustments. It is beyond simple and absolutely mouth watering. I have made this dish twice, the first time I did top with ribbons of fresh basil. The second time I didn’t have fresh basil, but I drizzled a reduction of balsamic vinegar. Both times I did sprinkle with lots of shaved parmesan cheese. The really great thing about this recipe is that it’s good served hot or at room temperature, so it makes it a great dish to make while entertaining!
I slightly changed it up and used regular eggplant and just sliced in about 1/2″ sections, where as the recipe called to use several baby eggplants just cut in half and grilled. If you are using baby eggplants, score the skin with a fork so that the oil and garlic soaks in and can flavor the dish.
3 cloves garlic, peeled and made into a paste
1/2 extra virgin olive oil
2 tsps kosher salt
freshly grated black pepper
6-8 baby eggplants (or 1 large eggplant)
1 1/4 pounds ripe but firm plum tomatoes
handful of basil leaves
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiana-Reggiano
Mash the garlic into a paste by sprinkling kosher salt over minced garlic and then running the side of your knife back and forth over the garlic. It will break the garlic down into a paste. Put that into a container or bowl and cover with the olive oil; let the flavors marry. Slice the tomatoes in half length wise. If they are really seedy, scoop the seeds out. Slice the eggplant in about 1/2” slices (or in half if you are using baby eggplant). Toss the vegetables in the oil to coat. Grill the vegetables until desired doneness. I cooked them until they were soft, but not falling apart or soggy, about 5 minutes. I used a George Foreman to grill, so what you are using may definitely effect timing. When they are done, alternate tomatoes and eggplant on a platter. Cut the basil in thin ribbons and sprinkle over the dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables.
If you are interested in doing the balsamic reduction, just place about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir it occasionally. It will thicken as it reduces. Once it’s the desired consistency you want, drizzle of the veggies.