Fresh, local vegetables are ideal for cookouts. Grilling brings out their inherent sweetness while adding good smoky flavor.
Grilled Baby Eggplants
8 baby eggplants
olive oil for brushing
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
About 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon harissa sauce
1 plump garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 tablespoon paprika
4 small, vine-ripened roma tomatoes, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sugar, or to taste
1. Make the topping: Combine the olive oil and harissa, then mix in the garlic, cumin, and paprika. Stir in the tomatoes and seasoning and sugar to taste. Cover and set aside until required.
2. Halve the eggplants lengthwise, leaving the stem on. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Grill, cut-side down, on an oiled rack over medium-high heat until browned in patches. Turn over and grill until tender, 2-3 minutes longer.
3. Pile the topping onto the hot eggplant halves. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm or cold.
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