When I'm grilling I like to have as much of the meal on the grill as I can, I can't stand having to run back and forth between the grill and the stove 10 or 20 times. One easy side dish I like to grill is marinated zucchini and eggplant. Often I'll include portabella mushrooms caps with these two.
Last night I was grilling some chicken thighs and this dish, along with baked potatoes, was the perfect accompaniment. The flavor of the grilled eggplant is absolutely explosive, and even the often neutral tasting zucchini will make you take notice. The flavors of the dressing are really accentuated by the grilling process.
I mixed together a simple Italian dressing as a marinade, but you can use your favorite bottled Italian style dressing if you like.
Italian Dressing/ Marinade
2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp ground black pepper 2 tsb white sugar 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped 1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
•Whisk all together in a bowl, •Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to mingle
Grilled, Marinated Zucchini and Eggplant
1 Whole eggplant 2 Medium sized zucchini
___________ • Wash the eggplant and the zucchini, removing the ends and any visible bad spots •Cut the eggplant into 1" thick rounds, salt the eggplant on both sides and lay it in a colander to drain for 20 minutes (this removes bitterness and excess moisture) •Slice the zucchini lengthwise in 1/2" thick slices •Pat off excess moisture and salt for the eggplant with a paper towel •Shake the Italian dressing well and pour it over the eggplant and eggplant (together or separately) •Using a brush, make sure all surfaces are coated with the dressing, cover and let sit refrigerated or an hour or more •Place pieces on a hot grill, cook for about five minutes •Keep brushing on the marinade while you are grilling to keep the vegetables from drying out •Flip over, grill for about five more minutes, or until cooked through •Sprinkle fresh chopped basil over top (optional), serve and enjoy!