marinated eggplant with capers and mint

Hoo hoo hoo. Hee hee. Remember when I was all “and I’ll tell you what to serve this crisp rosemary flatbread tomorrow!”? Well, the beach got in the way. And after that, some Chinese food. And a movie (do not watch! the first was so much better). Oh, and then a nap that lasted until 10 this morning…

goofy eggplants

Wait, are you still listening? Of course not. You’re at the beach, too. The weather has been so fantastic lately and the summer is almost over, making it even hard for me to motivate to cook anything. And yet, I am looking at the long list of recipes I haven’t gotten to writing up yet, and I realize that I’ve been cooking more than ever. How does that compute?

eggplant slices, pink wine

We’re actually making a lot of really, simple things, like flatbreads that take 15 minutes and dimply plum cakes, and having slow-roasted tomatoes on hand that can be quickly made into delicious white bean salads. The great thing is that just when the weather is way too good out to be inside the kitchen, the produce available needs the least amount of work.

white bean salad

We scooped these broiled slices of eggplant that had been briefly marinated in red wine vinegar, capers and mint with our flatbread, some bean salad and delicious pink wine and it was the perfect August dinner–none too heavy and nothing that took more than a little while to make. But it has me wondering: What would you add to the meal? With just a few weeks left before the cold sets in, I feel like I can’t have enough small vegetable dishes in the queue, to use up all the goodies we’re getting from the markets without shutting us inside.

broiled eggplant

Eggplant, previously: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree, Grilled Eggplant with Caponata Salsa and Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

One year ago: Stuffed Rond de Nice Squash

Broiled Eggplant with Capers and Mint
Adapted from Epicurious

Makes 4 appetizer-size portions

1 pound thin Italian or Asian eggplants (2 to 3), cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed

Preheat broiler. Arrange eggplant in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and brush both sides with 2 tablespoons oil (total). Broil about 4 inches from heat, turning once, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes total.

Stir together vinegar, mint, capers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil and toss with warm eggplant. Marinate at least 20 minutes.

Marinated eggplant can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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68 comments on marinated eggplant with capers and mint

  1. I haven’t had much time to cook lately, but wow are the farmer’s markets glorious this time of the year! I’ll roast pretty much any vegetable and turn it into different dishes over the days: roasted veggie sandwiches, frittatas/quiche, pasta dishes, dips and spread, you name it. My favorite recent veggie creation (but it’s not a side dish) was a revved up version of mac and cheese with lots of roasted eggplant/zucchini/tomatoes and whole ground mustard (not much cheddar cheese – just enough to make it cream). Oh, heaven.

    As far as this meal goes, I’d say it sounds perfect as is! Maybe some grilled chicken?

  2. m.s.

    get some really nice ripe tomatoes and make a tarte tatin à la tomate… the dough, pate brisée is super easy to make! put a layer of pesto between the dough and the tomatoes… ridiculously delicious!

  3. Eric

    I can’t even imagine what this would taste like. It looks delicious, but with all that mint and the capers. Hmm. I’ll have to try it if I can find some of those thin eggplants.

    I wish the excellent weather would come this way. Here in Mississippi, when it hasn’t been broiling hot it has been raining. Ahh well…at least fall is coming soon.

  4. I’m positively obsessed with mint lately (in savory stuff only, don’t have a taste for it in sweets for some reason) and I still have a ton of it in my front yard. I need to make something like this en mass so it doesn’t go to waste.

  5. Molly

    I’ve been splitting baby zucchini lengthwise, brushing with olive oil, and grilling them, serving with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Also making tabbouleh quite often. Tomatoes are late this year or there’d be gazpacho at least twice a week.

  6. llewilli

    I watched that movie last night and agree wholeheartedly — awful. I would add Ina Garten’s lemon chicken skewers (she makes them with a satay sauce but I prefer them without) — even cold (which maybe they’d go better that way) are delish.

  7. I bought a bunch of eggplants at the farmer’s market this weekend and made eggplant caviar (from the chocolate & zucchini cookbook) which is divine. But I bought more eggplants than I needed for the recipe. Now I know what to do with them. I love simple recipes!

  8. this looks yummy. not sure why everyone is so worked up about capers and mint – makes perfect sense to me. capers and mint is a super traditional sicilian seasonings/herb combination – and the sicilians are truly eggplant masters. when i visited sicily / the aeolian islands in may i could not taste enough different renditions of caponata. this looks like a streamlined and summery sort of caponata-light!

  9. cck

    Tomato pie. Oh gawd – I love tomato pie late summer. Store bought deep pie crust with slices of tomatoes topped with (and it sounds gross, but isn’t) mayo and cheese. It’s heaven.

  10. elyse

    i’ve never really cooked eggplant, but this looks like a good place to start! the farmers markets here (albany, ny) are full of heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, berries and plums, and herbs. we’re finally seeing the tail end of the zucchini. saturday i picked up some zucchini, a patty pan squash (to make a riff on your zucchini and almonds which is DIVINE btw), tons of tomatoes, and some white round cucumbers. and challah bread. yum yum. and plums and blueberries. i LOVE food in the summer. i love fall but i am seriously dreading winter’s endless stews and boring food and squashes as far as the eye can see. blegh. gimme some greens any day. maybe i should move back south, haha.

  11. Quick stuff we ate last week with a baguette and some goat cheese:

    – thinly slice zucchini lengthwise, oil the slices, grill, drape on a plate, sprinkle with more olive oil and a light vinegar (think I used white balsamic) and oregano or mint.
    – roast peppers, peel them, toss with oil and a dark balsamic with a fair amount of good salt (to balance the sweet) and maybe a crushed garlic clove and a sprig of rosemary.

  12. Sounds good to me as is, but what first came to mind was a grilled sweet basil or hot italian sausage served either kebab style or in thin medallions.

  13. mixette

    I might also make the zucchini carpaccio from zucchini and chocolate – another fast and no-cook option. I’ve been making it with pear infused balsamic lately instead of the raspberry vinegar in the original recipe.

  14. Susie

    Everything sounds wonderful. However I’m starting to wonder if anyone out there has kids??? And do their kids eat all this fantastic vegetable plethora of goodness that’s abounding about now? I almost yearn (not to wish away their childhoods or anything) for an empty nest, when my husband and I can enjoy zucchini carpaccio drizzled with a white truffle oil and fleur de sel and not hear my teenage son say “Oh. Gross. Can I just have cereal for dinner?”

  15. Susie – keep eating the veggies in front of your kids and oohh and aahh when you eat them. They’ll come around…my 12 year old daughter told me how good the sauteed zuccs, tomato,and onions were with oregano and basil…my 6 year old still only wants cereal though. :)

  16. Corn! on the cob or sliced off the cob and mixed with cherry tomatoes and basil for a simple salad.

    Or, my favorite thing to eat when I don’t feel like cooking is a sliced avocado sprinkled with sea salt. Best thing ever. (I do live in CA, however, and the avocados are amazing.)


  17. Your eggplant looks delicious and I’m still planning on trying the flatbread from your last post. When the produce is fresh and rolling in I love to make a salad with cucumber, fresh corn and vidalia onion. Yum. If I’m really not in the mood to cook, sliced tomatoes from the backyard with a little bit of salt are all I need.

  18. This looks delicious Deb. I’ve been doing the whole roasted tomato thing with everything, and will now stock this in the fridge for a light evening dinner too!

    But I’m with Apples and Butter – all I need this time of year is garden tomatoes that sit in salt for a bit before indulging. There is NOTHING better.

  19. Your meal was interesting enough to not add anything else. Only thing I see missing is perhaps some protein, though you do get that from the beans. Another good use of excessive tomatoes and eggplant is caponata. It’s great warm or cold…as a stand alone with some crusty bread, as a side dish vegetable, in a sandwich, and also very yummy with pasta – hot or cold. I’ve recently done a Sicilian summer salad with raw zucchini and oranges, and an Italian Salad: Mezzo-Mezzo with raw vegetables which you can check out on my blog.

  20. compostgirl

    OMG, I just love capers and mint and eggplant.
    My mouth is watering. Will make this tonight!!!!
    Some people just don’t like capers, I guess.

  21. This looks very interesting. Would be wonderful with the rosemary flatbread along side. Might have to try this. I’ve been saving all of my eggplants for ratatouille.

  22. Liz C

    i wish i liked eggplant more than i do, b/c the dish looks just beautiful. and as much as i prefer winter produce, that still does not make me look forward to winter. luckily i live in NC and cold weather is still a ways off.

  23. sandy

    Looks great. Love the site and have been lurking for a while. This post got me wondering…it is the second recipe that includes an instruction to rinse the capers. Is that necessary when you use brine cured capers, or is it only needed with the salt cured variety? Also, I was taught that eggplant needs to be salted, left to weep, and then rinsed (or patted dry) before using in a recipe. Do the asian type of eggplant not need that treatment?

  24. deb

    Hi Sandy — Sadly, I’m not much of an expert on capers or eggplant. I can’t say I “rinsed” my capers, just drained them of their liquid. (I assume the recipe would say “salt-packed” if that’s the capers it requires, but who knows…) I haven’t salted and drained eggplant before, though I hear it has some excellent results–those who do it swear by it, etc. I just haven’t tried it yet, though certainly don’t feel that any eggplant recipes on this site are lacking without it.

  25. Janet

    I’ve been making couscous salad all summer with whatever’s lying around. A really yummy one is with peaches and red onion and mint and parsely and pepper and toasted slivered almonds and sea salt. And maybe a tiny bit of finely, finely minced garlic. Lord, it’s good.

  26. MrsDocChuck

    My husband has gained a great deal of weight since he’s become housebound (medical condition).

    I am trying to wean him off the fatty foods he loves so much and on to low-cal but tasty alternatives.

    This looks fabulous, thanks!

  27. Caitlin

    Looks delicious and gives me ideas about what to do with the beautiful eggplant specimens at the local farmer’s market. From same I purchased some gorgeous fresh green beans. Grilled them to get just a little char (roasting is fine). Combined them with some thinly sliced red onion (shallots would be good, too), chunked tomatoes (colors would be fun) and prosciutto baked in the oven until crispy (bacon?). Dress lightly with a roasted garlic vinaigrette. Really summery and delicious.
    Thanks for all the wonderful summer ideas!

  28. Well I’m glad you got around to posting this because that is some beautiful eggplant and a beautiful dish! Hope you enjoyed the beach, I’m going to miss this weather!

  29. Love your site. We made your summer squash soup and it is amazing. I put a link on my site to yours in my posting today. Hope you get a few more visitors. Visit me to hear about my dilemmas this week….scorpions in the house…funny except that it is true!!! Exterminators come tomorrow.

  30. mint? capers? eggplant? you’re simply brilliant! glad you’re enjoying the summer sun. I wish it wasn’t so sweltering down here in west Texas that I’m more inclined to stay inside and just look at the rays of heat. thanks for always posting such beautiful and delicious recipes.

  31. Cameron

    I have been reading your blog for some time now but I have never left a comment before. But tonight I made the marinated eggplant with capers and mint and it was SO amazing. I love eggplant and I am always looking for a new way to prepare it.
    Thanks for the great recipes!

  32. hey i tried this for dinner yesterday! I had it with couscous (my new ‘it’ food item):P I put lots of lemon juice on couscous and instead of red wine vinegar i put apple cider – it was deelish! i highly recommend this very light dinner!

  33. Erica

    I made this over the weekend and had it for dinner last night with the Rosemary flat bread. It was delicious. Thanks for the idea!

  34. I never wanted to see the second one, the original Harold and Kumar was pretty hilarious, and even the commercials (which always take the 10 funniest scenes from the movie that are no longer funny when you see it) didn’t look that good. I noticed that the blogging community really slows down over the summer – I always assumed it was because everyone was at the beach or enjoying the outdoors. Perhaps it’s because people just aren’t as hungry in the summer from the heat.

    As for the eggplant, love the idea. When eggplant is good, it’s great. The problem is that the skin on my eggplant is always too chewy, is that because I don’t cook it long enough? maybe I cut it too thick?

  35. JENNY

    i was looking at older soup recipes and i saw that the semolina dumpling soup is still missing the beef stock directions. i would love to make it but i have not idea how to go about making beef stock.
    can you fill this in?
    thank you. love the site!

  36. prklypr

    Any thoughts on how this would be without the capers? Just can’t stomach them but I loooove the idea of eggplant and mint. Can I sub something else?? Also, could I grill the eggplant or do the slices really need the support of a baking sheet?

  37. eliza

    Simple goodness. I spiffed it up with feta and roasted green beans. I just love a dish that allows for infinite alterations. Thanks from Vermont!

  38. deb

    prklypr — I don’t see why you couldn’t either skip the capers or maybe replace them with some chopped green or black olives for that briny kick. I haven’t grilled the slices but am sure it would work, I just think it might be a little annoying since they’re so small and sliced pretty thin.

  39. nishta

    had these recipes in mind & came home from the farmers’ market with a few little eggplants to add to the 2 last remaining in our garden! now I’m enjoying my fresh flatbread & marinated eggplant (I substituted some mild green olives)…I know I will make the flatbread over and over, perhaps packaged for holiday or hostess gifts? also, loving the flavor combination as something new to do with eggplant!

    thanks deb, as always.

  40. I made this dish tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I knew I’d like it and I was right…just didn’t have the brilliance to come across it myself. Thanks for sharing! I linked back to you in my blog post.

  41. Kerri

    I just made this this afternoon and it was wonderful! I confess I cheated and bought pita crisps instead of making the rosemary flat bread; I thought it made a fine substitute!

  42. I absolutely love your blog! I just Stumbled across it today and I’m hooked!

    I have to know where you got the fantastic glass that I see in the background of the picture with the sliced eggplant! They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for!

    Have a great weekend!


  43. Oh my GOODNESS. I made this last night in the midst of a crazy cooking fit (I also roasted some cherry tomatoes and made potstickers, a rather time consuming activity), knowing I would eat it for lunch today. I did taste it last night but it is so amazing the next day! I didn’t even miss the flatbread. You really do have such a knack for picking great recipes.

  44. Wendy

    Hi Deb!

    I just came home from the market with a giant bag of eggplants, peaches and tomatoes at their peak of ripeness. I want to say, thank you. The lawyer in me always loved your clear yet hilarious writing style when I lived in the States, but the now non-cookbook owning (sob) expat in me cherishes the well-laid out categories (Summer! Sweet Pies! Eggplant!) that make finding seasonally appropriate recipes on the other side of the world a breeze.

    Gracias de Cordoba, Argentina.

  45. Sara

    New to the site. I don’t have easy access as much in Atlanta to chinese or japanese eggplant than I did in my hometown Seattle. But tried this recipe and liked it a lot. It was fun to morph it from first day side/appetizer into a pasta dish. Liked it even better on day 3.

    One of my favorite eggplant recipes of all time – and one of the only recipes I use pretty much exactly without tinkering – is Barbara Tropp’s dry-fried eggplant nuggets (page 427 China Moon.) It’s a similar technique, really, getting the eggplant ready to accept flavoring first before getting soggy.

    I’ve loved your blog which gives vegetables their due star billing – I’m going to try a bunch. I’d love to see what you would think of Tropp’s work. Her book was so blog-like for her time. (1948-2001) For me, right up there with Cooks Illustrated and Julia

  46. Sarah Beth

    SO YUM! I used a thin-ish regular ol’ eggplant, and added half a can of chick peas with the vinaigrette to make it a bit more hearty, then spread it on toasted crostini.

  47. Cristina

    I needed inspiration and this helped me so much. I am not a fan of mint, so I changed it up. I used parsely, minced garlic, capers, dijon mustard, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. It tastes amazing..

  48. Michele Koenig

    Just used leftovers to make an omelete…..added some goat cheese. It was delicious. (Used half as much mint and capers as the recipe called…)

  49. Tina

    I make this all the time – it’s my go-to salad recipe for the summer. I like to add basil into it as well, and some halved cherry tomatoes.

  50. Allison

    This recipe is fantastic! It needs a revival! Or can we just get more eggplant recipes!! Don’t get me wrong, I love my tomatoes, zucchini and artichokes, but eggplant is my absolute favorite food (not just veggie) ever!

  51. Naomi

    I made this with one large whole eggplant, sliced into rounds and then quartered once grilled. Accidentally used too much vinegar so threw in a teaspoon of liquid honey, which helped. Definitely recommend not being shy on the grilling – get them good and golden!