Farmers Daughter Herbs

grilled-eggplant-antipasto For the garlic and herb oil

2 garic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. minced Fresh Parsley leaves

2 tbsp. coarsley chopped Fresh Basil leaves

2 tbsp minced Fresh Mint leaves

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

 

1 eggplant (about 1 lb.), unpeeled

1-1/2 tsp. salt

about 1/4 cup olive oil for brushing the eggplant

Fresh Mint sprigs for garnish

Italian French Bread, sliced and toasted,

as an accompaniment

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Make the garlic and herb oil; in a small bowl combine the garlic, the parsley, the basil, and the mint, stir in the olive oil, and let the oil mixture stand for 1 hour.

While the oil mixture is standing, cut the eggplant crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick slices, arrange the slices in one layer on a large rack set over a tray, and sprinkle them evenly with 3/4 tsp. of the salt. Turn the slices, sprinkle them with the remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and let them drain, turning them after 30 minuted for 1 hour.

Pat the slices dry very thoroughly with several changes of paper towels. Brush one side of as many slices as will fit on an oiled grill rack with some of the olive oil and grill the slices, oiled sides down, on the rack set 3 to 4 inches over glowing coals for 3 minutes. Brush the slices with some of the remaining olive oil, turn them, and grill them for 3 to 4 minutes more, r until they are tender. Grill the remaining slices in the same manner. (Alternatively, the eggplant may be grilled in a ridged grill pan over moderately high heat in the same manner.)

Transfer one third of the eggplant slices to a shallow dish just large enough to hold all of them in three layers. Stir the garlic and herb oil, drizzle abot a tbsp. of it over the slices in the dish, and sprinkle the slices with pepper to taste. Layer remaining slices in the same manner with the remaining garlic and herb oil and pepper to taste and chill the mixture, covered, turning the slices once, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Arrange the eggplant slices on a platter, garnish them with the mint sprigs, and serve them cold or at room temperature with the bread.

Serves 4.