Grilled Eggplant Antipasto with Roasted Red Pepper

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1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh basil, mint and parsley
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 medium eggplant cut in 1/2 inch slices
1/2 red sweet pepper, cut in 2 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh mint sprigs

Combine dressing ingredients and set aside at room temperature.

Brush eggplant slices and red pepper pieces with olive oil and grill over medium heat, turning frequently, until eggplant slices are fork tender and nicely marked but not charred, and red pepper skin is charred and blistered. Peel off red pepper skin and discard.

Cover and refrigerate red pepper pieces.

Using a nonreactive dish that will hold the grilled eggplant slices in 2 layers make one layer of eggplant, drizzle with half of dressing and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Repeat with remaining eggplant, dressing, and salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight, turning the slices once. One hour before serving transfer eggplant to a platter. Cut reserved red pepper into thin strips and scatter over eggplant. Cover loosely.

Serve at room temperature, garnished with mint sprigs.

Makes 4 to­ 6 appetizer servings.

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