Melanzana Grata con Formaggio -- Grilled Eggplant with Provolone
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1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
4 sm. eggplants, unpeeled, sliced in half,
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 lb. mild provolone, sliced as for sandwiches
Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the salt over the eggplant and let sit, in a colander, in the sink, for about 30 minutes. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and the oregano. Let it rest. Wipe the eggplant surfaces of all the salt and moisture on them. Brush the eggplant cut surfaces with the vinegar and oil mixture.
Preheat gas grill to high. When heated lower to medium. Grill the eggplant, cut side down, until it’s browned, about 5-6 minutes. Flip each eggplant half and top with a slice or two of provolone. Grill a couple of minutes more, just until the cheese is melting slightly.
Note: These can also be prepared under the stove broiler.
Cook the eggplant about 6 inches from the heat, cut side down. Turn over and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes longer. Add the provolone cheese and broil for another minute or two. (Watch it closely in the stove’s broiler, it can burn quickly.)
Serve immediately, with a little of the vinegar and oil mixture to spread over the cooked eggplant.
This is something I remember the “old folks” (grandparents) doing outside during the summer . . . And long before gas grills were on the scene. They used charcoal and grilled them perfectly. I can remember our neighbor’s, the Campagnino’s. He would set up an old bucket he punched holes in, and use wood to start a fire. Then Mrs Campagnino would grill the eggplant . . . even in the dead of winter out their backdoor.
From my oookbook: The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca
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