It’s been an unseasonably warm September where I live, and I’m desperately holding on to the last vestiges of summer. In other words, we have been barbequing a lot around here! The boys have been eating a lot of grilled steaks and pork chops; I made this eggplant dish for myself, so as to not be left out of the barbeque festivities.
When he was very small, my younger son used to get excited when we went grocery shopping; the eggplant displays in the produce section enthralled him. He called the eggplants “doggies” and would often ask me to buy one so he could carry his doggy home. Please note that we have an actual, live dog at home; I think he was so taken with the shape and texture of a fresh eggplant that he couldn’t resist stroking its shiny skin. They are lovely looking vegetables, aren’t they, so smooth and purple. I never minded buying them since they are very versatile and can be used in so many dishes. I just always needed to ensure I prepared the eggplant quickly without my son noticing that I was chopping up his doggy.
Oh, the other day I was in the grocery store and I spotted a few young moms with babies and toddlers in the grocery store, the little ones admiring the shiny produce, and I was so taken with nostalgia that I grabbed an eggplant and ran my hand down its smooth surface. When I got the eggplant home I almost couldn’t prepare it for this recipe, I was so full of wistfulness and memory. Remember how much you used to love playing with eggplants? I said to my son, who will be eight in a few days. Remember how you called them your doggies? He looked at me for a minute and then said, brusquely, yet somehow gently, Yeah, Mom, but I was little then.
Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Arrange on a tea towel or paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 30 minutes so the eggplant can “sweat.” Wipe dry.
Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar and oil. Stir in chopped basil and garlic powder.
Marinate eggplant rounds in vinaigrette for 30 minutes.
Grill on an oiled barbeque over medium heat for 5 minutes per side.