Grilled Eggplant "Caprese"

April 2, 2018

Grilled eggplant and ricotta salata are enhanced with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and  fresh dill..

 

 

 

Caprese salad, once enjoyed only by visitors to the Isle of Capri or

regular holiday-goers in that Mediterranean region is now

ubiquitous in the US and anywhere else you can find tomatoes and

mozzarella.  The origins in Capri of the traditional tomato and

mozzarella dish have given the salad its name "Caprese",

which means "in the style of Capri".

 

While we can't  vouch for grilled eggplant and ricotta salata as

truly "alla Capri", the feeling is the same and modern cooks have

taken a liking to this sort of simple  combination of one fruit to

replace the tomato (or in this instance, a vegetable), along with

one complimentary cheese, which creates an entire new genre.

 

A note on the cheese.  Ricotta salata is a firm rindless pecorino type

cheese from Sicily.  It is made from the whey part of sheep's milk

which is pressed, salted, and then aged for a minimum of 90 days.

"Ricotta" means re-cooked, and "salata" means salted.  Used sliced,

crumbled, or grated.  Come to think of it, perhaps we should call this

"Grilled Eggplant all Siciliana" with a nod toward the Sicilian cheese.

What do you think?

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Serves four people

4 small eggplants

Ricotta Salata

Lucero Extra Virgin Olive Oilwe recommend

Hig Performance Arbequina

Lucero Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

fresh dill

Maldon Flake Salt

freshly ground pepper

 

OUTDOOR GRILL DIRECTIONS

1-  Prepare the grill with an even layer of hot coals. Place grate 6"

over the coals

 

2-  Slice the eggplant, ½ inch thick, preferably at a slight angle

Brush both sides liberally with olive oil.

 

3- Season top side lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black

pepper. Brush oil onto the grate and place eggplant slices onto it.

Grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side until golden brown.

 

 

BROILER DIRECTIONS

 

 

1-  Preheat your broiler with the rack set 6" from heat (at the top).

Place eggplant slices on an oven proof tray, and brush both sides

liberally with olive oil.

 

2-  Season top side lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black

pepper. Place the tray with prepared eggplant under the preheated

broiler and broil for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

 

 

ASSEMBLY DIRECTIONS

 

 

Slice ricotta salata into thin slices then wash, dry, and section dill

into small sprigs. Alternate cooled grilled eggplant with ricotta salata

pieces on your serving plate Dress lightly with olive oil, and decorate

with dill. Finish with a drizzle of traditional balsamic vinegar.

 

(shown left) beautiful eggplant at farmer's  market with Ricotta Salata,
(shown right) a salted variety of ricotta whey cheese from sheep'smilk
made in Sicily. 
  

 

 


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