Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...
Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of grill time left in the season. If you haven’t tried grilling eggplant yet, what are you waiting for? This recipe for easy grilled eggplant burgers is perfect for a Meatless Monday meal!
Seasonal and satisfying
Eggplant makes its way to gardens in full force late in the summer season, and you know how good seasonal veggies and fruit can taste! You’ve stuffed it, baked it and maybe even pureed it for dips. But have you ever made "burgers" out of eggplant? This recipe is so easy, and it makes a great option for a grilled, meatless meal. Plan to use a knife and fork for this hearty dish!
Go meatless once a week
Eliminating meat from your diet even one day a week can help keep your weight down, fight diseases, reduce pollution and even help you avoid risk from foodborne illnesses. Whether you're just getting started with going meatless or you're an old pro, these burgers are an easy (and enjoyable) way to make the swap.
1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 large tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (one slice for each burger)
1 large white onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (one round for each burger)
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices (one slice for each burger)
4-5 slices of crusty Italian-style bread (one slice for each burger)
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, ribbon cut
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic chili paste (or another type of hot sauce)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
After slicing the eggplant, lay the slices on paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. This will help draw out the bitter juices from the eggplant. Allow them to sit for about 30 minutes.
Consider using long toothpicks that have been soaked in water for 15-20 minutes, or thin metal skewers, to hold the onion rounds together for grilling. Brush the onions with a bit of the olive oil.
Combine the mayonnaise and the garlic chili paste, mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat your grill to medium heat. When the eggplant rounds are ready, brush them with a bit of the olive oil, sprinkle with ground black pepper and grill them for about 15 minutes, or until soft, turning them often so they don't burn.
About halfway through grilling the eggplant, add the onions to the grill. Flip them so they do not burn, but so they still achieve grill marks.
When the eggplant is cooked, add the slices of cheese to each, just so it melts, and place the slices of Italian bread on the grill. Flip the bread so it doesn't burn, but keep them on the grill just for a few minutes. Remove the eggplant, onions and bread and place on a baking sheet. Cover with foil.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture over each slice of bread and top with an eggplant slice.
Next add the tomato slice, then the onion rounds. Sprinkle with the basil and serve with a knife and fork.
These eggplant "burgers" are great for a meatless, summer meal!