Archive for June 11th, 2012

Cooked eggplant isn’t pretty. Cursed with the color of putty, and with pulp that’s bland tasting at best, this perennial wallflower is crying out for a gilding of tandoori. Here a rich, thick tandoori marinade enrobes slices of eggplant with Indian spices in a rich yogurt mask. The eggplant emerges from the grill gleaming gold and heady with aromas. It is topped with a splash of orange juice and crisp fresh scallion for contrast.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes (plus 5 minutes for marinade)
Marinate: 15 minutes
Grill: 15 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium (350°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting
Wood:
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
¼ cup Tandoori Yogurt Marinade
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), ends cut off, peeled
Oil for coating grill grate
1 orange
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 scallion, roots trimmed, thinly sliced.

DIRECTIONS
1. Mix the marinade and olive oil in a medium bowl.
2. Cut the eggplant in half crosswise. Put each half on its widest cut side and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges. Toss with the tandoori mixture and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the eggplant wedges on the grill and cook until browned on all sides and tender, about 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 375°F.
5. While the eggplant is grilling, grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice; hold separately.
6. Transfer the grilled eggplant to a serving plate, season with salt and pepper, and top with the orange juice, scallion, and grated orange zest.

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