5 Genius Ways to Dress Up Grilled Eggplant

Squeeze every last bite out of eggplant season with the help of these delicious and inventive toppings.

Eggplant turns tender and succulent when grilled over a medium flame (or an indoor grill pan) and has an earthy char that’s hard to resist, especially when your fork hits the melt-in-your-mouth interior. Finish it off it with any one of these five simple toppings (each with five ingredients or less), and watch the late summer staple go from side dish to centerpiece in no time flat.

First, grill the eggplant:

Heat grill to medium. Slice 2 medium eggplant to ½-inch thickness and season generously with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes, then rinse lightly and pat dry. Brush eggplant generously with olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning once, until tender and nicely charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Then, try a sauce:


Romesco Sauce


Pulse ½ cup roasted almonds, ½ cup grated Parmesan, and 1 clove garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pulse again. Drizzle over grilled eggplant, or serve on the side for dipping.


Lemon, Parsley and Caper Sauce


Mix together ⅓ cup olive oil, 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, zest of 1 lemon, ¼ cup capers, ¼ cup raisins, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon over grilled eggplant.


Cous Cous and Tomato Tabouleh


Make ½ cup whole-wheat cous cous according to the package directions. Meanwhile, chop ⅓ packed cup each parsley and mint. In a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 clove garlic (chopped), and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss with 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved. Spoon cous cous and tomato dressing over grilled eggplant.


Tahini Yogurt Sauce


Mix together ⅓ cup yogurt, ⅓ cup tahini, and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Drizzle over grilled eggplant or serve on the side for dipping.


Dill and Feta Dressing


Combine 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 clove garlic (finely chopped), ¼ cup chopped dill, and 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, in a small bowl. Spoon over grilled eggplant and top with additional dill, if desired.