The black Nadia eggplant takes especially well to the grill — skin on or off — and eagerly absorbs a dressing of reduced balsamic vinegar.

Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds small eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Vegetable oil, for grill
  • 1 baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • Fresh basil, torn, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons salt, place in a colander, and let stand 30 minutes. Wipe off salt and moisture with paper towels.
  2. Mix olive oil, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil mixture. Place vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in reserved oil mixture, and let cool.
  3. Preheat grill to medium; brush grill with vegetable oil. Brush eggplant slices generously with some remaining oil mixture. Grill eggplant, covered, until slightly charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side.
  4. Increase grill temperature to high. Brush baguette with remaining oil mixture, and grill until toasted, about 3 minutes. Cut baguette into pieces in various sizes.
  5. Place eggplant, baguette, and feta on a large platter. Drizzle eggplant and feta with some vinegar mixture, then sprinkle torn basil over top. Serve with remaining vinegar mixture.

Source: http://www.marthastewart.com