There’s something about the simplicity of throwing vegetables or meat on the grill with minimal spices that I just love. This recipe isn’t hard. I’m not sure it even constitutes a recipe, but I just felt the need to acknowledge the beauty of the season by firing up the grill and focusing on the season’s simple, beautiful bounty. This is another creation from the weekend with my parents in lovely Warwick, New York about an hour north of the city. Most of the vegetables that come to the farmer’s markets here in the city come from my home town or the towns around it where I grew up. I’ve written a bit about the miracle dirt I grew up ingesting–either through eating it on my vegetables or breathing it in during dust storms– here. If you’re into produce, it’s worth the read. Going straight to the source feels like a relief from the frantic markets of the city and a reconnection with my roots.
Here the thick eggplant from the farmer’s market is sliced into steaks and seasoned with olive oil and dried herbs. Sprinkle them with some red pepper flakes and char them over a medium flame until soft and golden. The fire allows the eggplant to bask in its orange glory, teasing out its flavor and moving it to center stage without eggplants’ traditional costume of cheeses, tomato sauces or other heavy cloaks. This simple grilled eggplant holds up proudly on its own with a gentle sprinkle of spices and bolstered by the flame.