Grilling Aubergines: 5 Tips for Perfect Enjoyment

The aubergine (Solanum melongena) is also called an eggplant and originally comes from Asia. It owes the typical bitter substances that make up its taste to its botanical origin because the aubergine belongs to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). It must not be eaten raw! Fresh aubergines are plump and have smooth, violet skin. If the fruit looks dull or has soft spots, it is no longer fresh and should rather be overcooked. Small, fresh fruits with firm flesh are particularly suitable for the grill. They taste great as a side dish with fish and meat or with vegetables and herbs as a vegetarian option.

Before grilling: Salt and oil the aubergines

Many people find the taste of aubergines too tart and therefore do not like to eat them. In fact, you can extract the bitter substances from the fruit with a simple trick. Wash the aubergines, remove the stalk and buds, and cut lengthwise or crosswise to the desired shape. Then salt the slices or pieces thoroughly. Depending on the size, soak the prepared vegetables in the salt for between ten minutes and an hour. Then pat the aubergines dry with kitchen paper. The salt extracts water from the fruit, which gives it a nice bite later when grilled. After salting, the aubergine also has a pleasantly mild taste. By the way, you should not peel the eggplant. The peel is suitable for consumption and contains many vitamins. The small seeds inside can also be eaten.

Grilled eggplant slices

Classically, the aubergine is sliced ​​and grilled. This variant is the simplest and is very quick. The fruit can be cut lengthwise or crosswise. Make sure the slices aren’t too thin, otherwise they’ll easily tear when flipped on the grill. Brush the slices with olive oil and fry on both sides for about two to three minutes. In this form, the aubergine is suitable as a simple vegetable side dish or with herb butter as a topping.

A special highlight is the aubergine rolls. To do this, cut the aubergine lengthways into thin slices and grill them on both sides. Then you can either spread on a prepared salsa filling and roll up the slices, or roll up the slices loosely and inject the filling – for example a goat’s cheese mousse – with a piping bag. Cevapcici or sausages can also be wrapped well with eggplant.

Grill the aubergines whole

Aubergine lovers grill the fruit whole. For this purpose, it is only halved and left to soak in the salt. You can then hollow out and fill the fruit or simply enjoy it in its natural form. So it is suitable as a vegetarian main course. Yogurt or cream cheese dip is served with the eggplant and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and herbs. For an oriental touch, stir the dip with ras el hanout. The aubergine gets an Asian flavor with a spicy teriyaki marinade, sesame, and coriander.

Eggplant on a skewer

If you prefer to enjoy the aubergine in small bites, you can grill it on a skewer. To do this, either cut thick slices or cubes and stick the vegetables on wooden skewers along with other delicacies such as peppers, onions, courgettes, cocktail tomatoes, beetroot balls, corn, pepperoni, or hearty pieces of meat, minced meatballs, or grilled cheese. Oil everything well and roast on the grill. Turn the skewers several times. This goes well with garlic or barbecue sauce and baguette.

Grilled eggplant antipasti

If you have a large aubergine harvest and want to preserve some of the delicious fruit for later, you can add grilled aubergine slices. Prepare the vegetables as described above, cut them into slices, and grill on both sides. Then marinate in plenty of olive oil with herbs according to taste, such as rosemary and garlic, with or without peppers. Put the slices with the spices in a mason jar or screw-top jar, fill it to the top with high-quality olive oil and close it tightly. The pickled aubergines will keep for a few weeks in the fridge. So the perfect souvenir for the next barbecue party is ready.

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