We are starting a new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is ‘Vegetarian Grilling Recipes’. Weather in our neck of woods is still very chilly and ideally not very conducive for outdoor grilling. But luckily all of this week’s recipes can be made on an indoor grill, which is exactly what I did. My husband is our designated outdoor grill master — even though most of the instructions come from me (I mean I’m the one googling recipes and giving directions). We don’t tend to experiment too much on the grill. Our usual menu would be simple grilled veggies, pizza, naan, burgers, corn and that’s it. So this theme has forced me to try some new grilling recipes. First recipe I tried is this smoky and delicious Harissa Grilled Eggplant. Sliced eggplant is brushed with a mixture of harissa, agave (or honey for non-vegan version), garlic and spices, then grilled until tender. You can use homemade or store bought harissa. Recipe is adapted from this roasted eggplant recipe. So if you don’t have a grill, then you can simply roast the eggplants in the oven for the same great tasting dish.The harissa when mixed with the sweetener (agave or honey), garlic and cumin makes a delicious marinade for the eggplant. After grilling the sugars caramelize, intensifying the smoky, spicy, sweet flavor. These grilled eggplants are great to serve over rice, quinoa or any other whole grain. I served them over rice cooked with mixed veggies with some more harissa sauce on the side.
2tbspAgave NectarUse honey for a non-vegan version
1Garlic clove, finely minced
To taste Salt Pepper
2tbspMint, finely chopped
Chop the eggplant into 1/4" slices either lengthwise or crosswise. I cut lengthwise but it's up to you. Score the flesh side with a sharp knife.
In a small bowl, combine, harissa, olive oil, agave, garlic, cumin and salt & pepper.
Brush the harissa mixture on the eggplant.
Preheat the grill or the grill pan (if cooking indoors).
Lightly grease the grill with cooking spray; place the eggplants on the hot grill and cook covered for about 2 minutes. Change the angle of the slices to get nice grill marks and cook for another minute. Gently flip and cook on the other side for another 2~4 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked through and tender.
Remove from the grill and sprinkle with the chopped mint. Serve over rice or quinoa or any other grain.