the appetizer:

The New Vegetarian Grill: 250 Flame-Kissed Recipes for Fresh, Inspired Meals by Andrea Chesman is a re-issue of her classic grilling cookbook, including recipes for Quick-Rise Pizza Dough; Grilled Chakchouka; and Eggplant Steaks.

Cookbook Profile

Eggplant Steaks

Serves 4


A good grilled eggplant steak, like a good mushroom steak, is a vegetarian's delight. The key to great flavor is to marinate the eggplant before grilling. If you choose a classic or Italian-style marinade, you can build a traditional Western-style meal around the eggplant, serving it with, say, a potato dish or a grain and a salad. Or you can work it into a sandwich with cheese and sliced tomatoes and onions. Alternatively, you can make an Asian-inspired meal out of it by marinating the eggplant in a soy-based sauce and serving it with rice and a stir-fry. An indoor contact grill works fine with sliced eggplant.

1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.

2. In a shallow bowl, combine the eggplant and marinade. Toss well to coat. Let the eggplant stand for at least 15 minutes to absorb the marinade.

3. Grill the eggplant, turning occasionally, until tender and grill-marked, about 10 minutes. The eggplant should be slightly crusty on the outside but soft and moist inside. Serve hot.

The Trouble with Eggplant

Perhaps no vegetable takes to the flame like eggplant, but no vegetable is quite as difficult to do right. When eggplant is grilled to perfection, it is slightly crusty on the outside, but very soft and moist inside. Start with slices about 3Ja inch thick (if too thin, they will char; if too thick, they will dry out). Brush them with oil just before grilling. Eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge, and you need the oil to be on the surface to get a nice crust. Grill over a hot fire to seal the outside. Slow-grilled eggplant becomes dry and firm - a rather unpleasant texture.


Teriyaki Marinade and Dipping Sauce

Makes about 1-1/4 cups

This marinade is thickened with cornstarch so it clings to vegetables well and makes an excellent dipping sauce. It is particularly good on tofu.

1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the sesame and canola oils. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tamari, sherry, brown sugar, and lime juice and bring to a boil.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice and cornstarch until you have a smooth paste. Stir into the tamari mixture and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


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This page created June 2008