For this recipe, I don’t salt or oil the eggplant; I grill it dry. This way, it has a nice chewy texture. I marinate the eggplant as soon as it comes off the grill so the flavor of the marinade penetrates. You could make the parsley mixture in a food processor, but I find that mixing by hand gives me the somewhat drier consistency I prefer.
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp capers, drained
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and sliced
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 Japanese eggplants or 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced about ⅓" thick
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat an outdoor charcoal or gas grill. Alternatively, heat a grill pan until it’s smoking hot.
2. In a large bowl, add the parsley, capers, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and reserve.
3. Put enough eggplant slices on the grill to cover it without overcrowding and cook until well marked, 3 to 6 minutes, then turn the slices over. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the grill.
4. Pour the vinegar into a shallow bowl. Using tongs, dip each grilled eggplant slice into the vinegar, then remove and set aside. Continue grilling and dipping the eggplant until all the slices are cooked and seasoned.
5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the parsley mixture onto a platter and spread it out evenly. Arrange half of the grilled eggplant on the mixture in a single layer, and sprinkle more of the mixture on top of the slices. Place a second layer of eggplant on top and spread the remaining parsley on it. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate at room temperature for about 2 hours, or refrigerate for longer. Serve at room temperature.