Servings: Serves four to six as a side dish.
- 1 small clove garlic
- Kosher salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small shallot, very finely diced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, lightly toasted and pounded in a mortar or ground in a spice grinder
- Pinch cayenne; more to taste
- 1 large globe eggplant (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
- Kosher salt.
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoon scoarsely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoon scoarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- Make the vinaigrette: With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste, or mince the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife.
- Combine the garlic paste and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the shallot with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt in another small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk the olive oil, cumin, and cayenne into the garlic mixture. Season to taste with salt or cayenne, if necessary.
- Grill the eggplant: Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill (covered on a gas grill; uncovered on a charcoal grill) until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well marked on the second sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard.
- Top grilled eggplant slices with the shallots, feta, and herbs. Whisk the vinaigrette and drizzle it on top. Serve immediately.