It can never be too hot for gooey cheese, grilled eggplant, and tomatoes. This easy vegetarian recipe uses a handful of ingredients, takes minutes to make, and delivers big on flavor. Grilled baby eggplant halves are topped with fresh mozzarella, grilled cherry tomatoes, and fresh oregano. Serve as a side dish or make it a meatless meal.
3 baby eggplants, cut in half, lengthwise through the stem and bottom
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided plus more for the grill
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon powdered garlic
4 ounces of cherry tomatoes
½ pound of fresh mozzarella, torn in half
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine, or 1 teaspoon dried
Balsamic vinegar, if desired
6 skewers, metal, or wooden soaked
Heat a grill or grill pan to hot. Brush the eggplant on both sides with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the cut sides with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of powdered garlic. Set aside.
Toss the cherry tomatoes in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Divide the tomatoes evenly on 6 skewers.
Lightly oil the grates of the grill or grill pan with a paper towel soaked in olive oil. Place the eggplant, cut side down, and cherry tomatoes on the grill in a hot spot. Grill the cherry tomatoes, frequently turning, until they are marked and just starting to wilt about 2-4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Turn the eggplant over after the cut side is browned and lightly charred. Move the eggplant to a cooler area on the grill, sprinkle with salt, and cover the eggplant with the grill cover or foil, and continue cooking until a small knife can easily pass through the eggplant, about 5-8 minutes more.
When cooked through, top the eggplant halves evenly with the cheese, then cover the grill or grill pan to melt the cheese. Remove to a platter and top with the grilled cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired. Makes 6 servings