Eggplant lovers will rave about this grilled eggplant with a sweet and tangy glaze. The beautiful bold colors make this an impressive side dish at any BBQ or picnic.
I’ve been eating this eggplant all my life. My mother called it “candied” eggplant and it showed up in many company and family dinners. She broiled it and used a bottled Catalina dressing instead of making it from scratch. Honestly, the taste is very close, so don’t be afraid to use that shortcut. I did until recently when I discovered how easy it was to quasi-replicate Catalina or French dressing with just a few ingredients. Either way, this eggplant dish isreally tasty, looks gorgeous and is simple to make.
An thinking outside the box, grilled eggplant makes a wicked topping for chicken or beef burgers (see picture below) or a great addition to a Charcuterie board. Serve it with Cedar Planked Chicken, Lemon Panko-Crusted Salmon or Mediterranean-Style Marinated Chicken or any other protein.
How to Choose an Eggplant
When choosing a dark purple eggplant, bigger is not better. Larger more mature eggplants tend to be more bitter and have more seeds. Look for an eggplant that is firm (with just slight give to the touch), shiny, smooth and not wrinkled. The stem should be green.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use rosemary or thyme instead of oregano.
- If you don’t like eggplant, replace or add other vegetables with the glaze such as zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, red onion, asparagus. Some will take less cooking time though.
Make Ahead Grilled Eggplant
- I almost always make this ahead for a dinner party. It can sit on the counter for hours and be served at room temperature or warmed in the oven or for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
- Replace the glaze ingredients with store-bought Catalina or French dressing
- Instead of grilling, broil a few minutes on each side.
Sweet & Tangy Grilled Eggplant Recipe
- 1 medium eggplant
- oil spray (e.g. Pam)
Glaze (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 1.5 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (or white)
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup (or honey)
- 0.75 tsp dried oregano
- pinch Each: garlic powder, salt, pepper
- Heat Grill to medium high.
- MAKE GLAZE: Whisk all ingredients for glaze in small bowl or measuring cup. [SHORTCUT: use Catalina salad dressing instead].
- PREPARE EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING: Cut eggplant horizontally into 1/2 inch slices. Place rounds on pan in single layer. Brush each eggplant round with glaze on side facing up (I use a pastry. brush). Spray well with oil spray.
- GRILL EGGPLANT: Place eggplant, glaze side down, on grill. Glaze the plain side facing up. Spray with oil. Close lid and grill for 3 minutes. For checked grill marks, do a quarter turn of each round and continue to grill for another minute. Turn eggplant over. Glaze side facing up (again). Close lid and grill for 3-4 minutes. (Note 2 - to broil)
- SERVE: hot or at room temperature. If you have a bit of glaze left over, brush top side of eggplant again. (This is optional).
- Shortcut for Glaze: You can substitute the homemade glaze with Catalina or French dressing for a super quick shortcut.
- If you don't have a grill: You can broil the eggplant for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Other eggplant dishes you might enjoy:
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