Two common misconceptions about vegetarian grilling:
1) Grilling is just for meat. NO WAY. Vegetarian and vegan grilling is just as fun or maybe even more because there are so many different things you can do with veggies on the grill. The texture and taste of eggplant works out particularly well with grilling in this Vegan Grilled Eggplant Caprese.
2) Veggie grilling is basically frozen veggie burgers and skewers. Also NO! You can grill so many different veggies and come up with unique recipes without ever turning on your stove. There are so many unique combination of sauces, not to mention so many colorful grill worthy veggies that there is no limit to your vegetarian grilling options. Case in point, my Vegan Grilled Eggplant Caprese with Olive Tapenade. This dish is a take on a traditional caprese but the olives and of course the grilling add new level of flavors to this traditional dish.
Some things to keep in mind when making this Vegan Grilled Eggplant Caprese:
• You could probably substitute other types of eggplant such as Japanese eggplant but the grilling time and method may slightly vary.
• Make sure to use fresh basil instead of dry. The flavor that basil adds to caprese is what really makes this dish a classic.
• This dish is vegan but if you want to add some fresh slices of mozzarella, go ahead.
• You can add the eggplant directly on the grill but use foil or grill mats for the tomatoes.
• If you are using a community grill and would prefer your veggies not touch surfaces that have touched meat, definitely buy some grill mats.
• This dish is great as an appetizer by itself. If you want to serve it as a main, serve over rice, quinoa or pasta or even put it on toast for a Grilled Eggplant Caprese bruschetta.
Grilled Eggplant Caprese
- 1 large eggplant (black beauty or black nadia)
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6-7 basil leaves, chopped into strips add more to taste
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar optional
- 5-6 mozzarella slices optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice eggplant and tomato into 1 cm slices.
- Brush olive oil on the eggplant and tomato, covering both sides. Use more oil on eggplant.
- Sprinkle eggplant and tomato with salt.
- Add eggplant and tomato slices onto foil. Start heating your grill on medium to high.
- After a couple mins, place foil with eggplant and tomato onto grill, keep at medium heat. Cover an let them cook through for 2-3 mins and check for grill marks and browning. Turnover and grill the other side for another 2-3 mins or longer depending on your grill.
- Once grilled, alternate eggplant and tomato slices onto a serving plate. Drizzle remaining olive oil, pinch of salt, and basil leaves. Add balsamic vinegar and mozzarella if desired.
- Can serve as is as an appetizer or placed over rice or pasta to make it a main dish.
Need a non-grilled side dish for your Veggie BBQ? Try our Vegan Canned Chickpea “Egg” Salad
Easy Green Tomatillo Salsa