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What went wrong with my grilled eggplant?

Hit the farmer's market yesterday and grilled some sliced eggplant and zucchini last nite. I brushed both the eggplant and zucchini after slicing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs. The zucchini was delicious. The eggplant was awful. It had an unpleasant, gummy texture and was tasteless. Anyone know what happened? I'd like to try again.

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  1. Did you sprinkle the eggplant with salt first? That will draw some moisture out and let it grill better.

    1. Salting definitely helps, but sometimes you just get a bad eggplant, and you really can't tell until you cook it.

      1. I've been cooking/roasting/baking/grilling eggplant for many years and I never have salted it first, neither did my mother nor grandmother. Perhaps your eggplant was sliced too thickly? If the slices were too thick it would have taken more time and that may have contributed to the "gummy' texture. Did you grill both the zucchini and eggplant at the same time on the grill? Zucchini would have taken a shorter time to grill.

        The last thing I can think of, and I really hate to say this because I shop at farm stands and farmers' markets for produce rather than supermarkets, perhaps the eggplant was old.

        1. Thank you for the help. Normally, I salt or put weights on the eggplant if I'm baking it, but I didn't do that to grill it. Maybe that was the problem. Also, I did think that maybe I didn't grill it long enough. Can anyone tell me how long I should have grilled it? I did about 5-6 minutes and that was enough for the zucchini, but maybe the eggplant needed longer? The slices were about 1/2 inch thick.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Kat

            Actually your eggplant was sliced well, but I would have grilled them for 6 - 7 minutes each side or till golden and cooked through...

              1. re: CanadaGirl

                Thanks! I'll grill them longer next time. Good to know!

              2. re: Gio

                I agree; I never salt it before grilling, but it definitely takes longer than zucchini, which is done fast.

              3. This contains a brilliant looking eggplant (UK = aubergine) dish:

                http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/programmes/...

                6 Replies
                1. re: Robin Joy

                  That does look delicious and the recipe answered my question. It says to grill for 20 minutes. I definitely did not grill the eggplant that long, so it must have been undercooked.

                  1. re: Kat

                    Remember, though, Hopkinson there is cooking whole slender eggplants.. I don't think I've ever gone more than 10-12, but I do slice 'em thinly (?1/8)

                      1. re: Kat

                        Basically, it needs to be brown on the outside and very soft. I do about 1/2 inch thick for 10 minutes a side , about.

                        1. re: magiesmom

                          Thank you. Mine were not brown on the outside and definitely not super soft.

                          1. re: Kat

                            I've had the peppers from that video. Only three times last week.