Most people think beef or pork when they think barbecue. However, there is a special level of tasty heaven reached when you barbecue whole eggplants.
2 large eggplants or 8 Japanese eggplants
1 medium, very ripe tomato
1 small green bell pepper
1/2 red onion
6-8 large basil leaves
1/4 c olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
ground black pepper
Preheat barbecue. If you are using charcoal, light and wait for flames to die down. Grill directly over the coals. If using a gas grill, preheat to 500 degrees.
Place eggplants directly on grate. Grill until the skin is starting to char on side toward coals. Rotate until the entire eggplant is fully charred.
Remove eggplants from grill. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow eggplants to deflate and cool.
Peel skin off of eggplants and discard. Chop the flesh. It will be very soft and will become smooth (except for seeds) as you chop it. Place flesh back in bowl along with any juice that leaked out of eggplants while they cooled.
Peel and finely dice the red onion. Seed and finely dice the green pepper. Add to eggplant.
Core and slice the tomato in half. Peel off skin. A very ripe/nearly over ripe tomato works best in the recipe. The skin should easily pull away from the flesh. Cut the tomato in half and seed it. Dice the flesh and add to the eggplant.
Chiffonade (roll and slice thin) the basil. Add to the eggplant.
Add the olive oil, juice of one lemon, 1 tsp salt, cumin and red pepper to the eggplant. Crush two cloves of garlic into the eggplant. Grind in a bit of black pepper.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serve at room temperature.
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