Yield: Serves 4 as a first course or side dish.
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian
- 1/4 teaspoon minced peperoncini or red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium eggplant (3/4 pound), peeled and sliced about 1/3″ thick
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Finely chop the parsley with the capers and garlic. Add the oregano and peperoncini and chop everything together. Put the mixture in a bowl, stir in the oil, season with salt and pepper, and reserve.
- Preheat an outdoor charcoal or gas grill or a grill pan until smoking hot.
- Put enough eggplant slices on the grill to cover it without crowding. Cook the eggplant until well marked, 3 to 6 minutes, then turn the slices over. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes more. Remove the eggplant from the grill.
- Pour the vinegar into a shallow bowl. While still hot, dip each eggplant slice into the vinegar and set it aside on a plate. Continue grilling and dipping the eggplant until all the slices are cooked and seasoned.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of the parsley mixture onto a platter and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon. Arrange half of the grilled eggplant on the parsley in a single layer. Smear each slice of eggplant with more parsley. Place a second layer of eggplant on top and spread the remaining parsley on it. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate at room temperature for about 2 hours (or refrigerate for longer). Serve at room temperature.
- You could make the parsley mixture in a food processor, but I don’t. I find hand chopping gives me the somewhat drier texture I prefer.
- For this recipe, I don’t salt or oil the eggplant; I grill it dry. This way, it has a nice chewy texture. I marinate the eggplant as soon as it comes off the grill so the flavor of the marinade penetrates.