I am generally haphazard while grilling vegetables. I slather a little oil, salt, and pepper on sliced zucchini, eggplant, and/or peppers and put them on the grill. Then I try to keep them from falling through the little holes in the grill. (Usually I save most of them.)
My friends Molly and Jiri Stejskal invited me to dinner the other night. They are MUCH more organized in their grilling than I am, and their marinated grilled vegetables were rich in flavor. Their recipe, like most for this sort of thing, is a little vague—but it’s not hard to follow, I promise!
2 small-to-medium eggplants
6 to 8 Roma tomatoes (I imagine you could use non-Roma tomatoes, but make sure the ones you use are firm!)
3 garlic cloves (more if you like)
1 to teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
a “gracious sufficiency” of olive oil (be generous!)
freshly ground pepper
a few sprinklings of grated Parmesan cheese
several basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch chunks or slices and slice the tomatoes in half. The pieces should be about the same thickness; use the tomatoes to guide you about the eggplant pieces.
Score the skin side of the eggplant pieces with a fork, and the inner side(s) with a sharp knife to help the marinade soak in.
Mash the garlic cloves in salt. Toss the oil into the mashed, salty garlic. Add pepper to taste. Pour the garlicky oil onto the veggies and stir gently but thoroughly. If you need a little more oil to coat them all lightly, add it and stir again. Marinate the veggies for 1/2 hour, more or less.
Preheat your grill to medium heat. When it is warm, remove the vegetables from the oil (save the leftover oil!) and grill them. This will take from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill; it shouldn’t be TOO hot.
The tomatoes should be grilled sliced-side down. Do not turn them. DO turn the eggplant slices halfway through cooking so that they grill on both sides.
When the veggies have cooked, arrange them on a platter. Toss on the cheese (it will melt ever so slightly into the vegetables) and the basil. Drizzle your leftover oil and garlic overall.