Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint
posted by Kalyn Denny on September 4, 2016
This spicy grilled eggplant is a perfect Meatless Monday dish, and this easy grilled eggplant is also low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30, vegan, and South Beach Diet Phase One! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
I first made this Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint in 2007 when I had a garden that was overflowing with eggplant, and I made it every summer for a while when I was growing eggplant. My brother Rand must have been visiting Utah regularly in those days, because this got to be his favorite way to cook eggplant, and he also made it over and over!
Now fast forward a few years, and since then I’ve had an eggplant recipe that became one of the most popular recipes on my blog, but sadly I had to buy eggplant at the store to make this favorite eggplant recipe again so I could take new photos. Next year I really want to try growing eggplant in the garden again! I know eggplant is a tough sell for some people, but for years I’ve been saying give grilled eggplant a chance, and I promise that this spicy eggplant is really delicious.
You’ll want to adjust the amount of spicy red pepper to your personal preference, and the one teaspoon of Aleppo pepper I used in the original recipe is pretty spicy for me now. Maybe it’s because I had fresh Aleppo Pepper that I bought in Istanbul! You can also use regular red pepper flakes, or use a smaller amount of Cayenne Pepper.
Of course this spicy grilled eggplant is absolutely perfect for Meatless Monday, but this delicious way to cook eggplant is also low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30, vegan, and South Beach Diet Phase One, so you can make it for just about anyone!
And one more piece of news. When I made the commitment to get back in the groove with Meatless Monday again, I promised I’d try to focus on low-carb meatless recipes. So I’ve started collecting my Best Low-Carb Meatless Recipes on a new Pinterest board! If you’re a Meatless Monday fan, vegetarian, or just someone looking for low-carb side dishes you might want to follow that board!
Cut the eggplant into slices about 3/4 inches thick; lay the slices out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let water drain out for about 20 minutes. Then turn the eggplant over, salt the other side, let more water drain out; then press down on the eggplant pieces with paper towel to absorb the liquid. While the eggplant drains, chop the mint and parsley, and mix the spicy sauce.
Preheat the grill to medium high, and brush both sides of the eggplant slices with a little olive oil. Grill eggplant pieces about 4-5 minutes per side, rotating them after a few minutes if you want to get those criss-cross grill marks. When the eggplant is done, put in a glass baking dish and spoon a little sauce over each piece. Let the eggplant sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the sauce.
1 large or 2 small globe eggplants (or 2-3 long Asian eggplants)
1-2 tsp. salt, to remove water from eggplant (not needed for Asian eggplant)
1-2 T olive oil, to brush eggplant for grilling
2 T chopped parsley
2 T chopped mint
(You can use all mint or parsley if you don’t have both.)
Spicy Sauce Ingredients:
2 T olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic puree (from a jar) or finely minced fresh garlic (or less if you don’t love garlic)
1 tsp. Aleppo Pepper (or less, to taste. Use whatever kind of red pepper flakes you have. I would start with a small amount and taste before you add all the red pepper.)
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but highly recommended)
Remove stem end and wash eggplant, but do not peel. Cut eggplant into slices about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, being careful to make all slices the same thickness. (Cut Asian eggplant on the diagonal to get bigger slices.) Arrange eggplant in single layer on double-thick paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let liquid ooze out for 20 minutes, then turn over and sprinkle other side with salt and let drain 20 minutes more. (If you’re using Asian eggplant, they don’t need to be salted.)
While eggplant drains, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic puree, Aleppo Pepper, and Spike. Chop mint and parsley. Preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for 3-4 seconds at that heat.)
After the second 20 minutes has finished, cover the eggplant pieces with another layer of paper towels and press down with your hands to squeeze out water. Wipe eggplant dry. Lay them out on a baking sheet (or paper towels) and brush both sides with olive oil.
Place eggplant on grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, rotating after a few minutes on each side if you want to get nice grill marks. Watch them carefully because they go from nicely browned to overly dark quite quickly.
When eggplant is done, remove from grill and place in a single layer in a baking dish (or use the same baking sheet you used to oil them.) Spoon some of the spicy sauce over each piece of eggplant, and let sit 10-15 minutes so eggplant can absorb sauce flavors.
To serve, assemble eggplant on serving plate and sprinkle with mint and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.