If anything can take the heat, it’s eggplant. This rough-and-tough purple produce has a sturdy skin and meaty flesh, which make it perfect for grilling over an open flame. While it may not be a beefy burger, this recipe transforms eggplant patties into a meat-inspired dinner – grill marks and all. You’ll even marinate the grilled eggplant in something spicy-sweet. And in case anyone’s concerned about their protein intake, turmeric quinoa will hit the spot.
1 large eggplant, about 750 g by weight
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1. Cut eggplant into 1/2- to 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let rest about 30 minutes to draw out moisture. While eggplant slices are resting, prepare quinoa.
2. Rinse quinoa under running water for 2 minutes. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
3. Add rinsed and drained quinoa to pan and cook 1 minute.
4. Add water, turmeric and salt; stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, and then lower heat to lowest setting; cover with a lid and let cook 15 minutes.
5. Remove pan from heat and let it rest 5 more minutes. Remove lid and use a fork to fluff quinoa.
6. Add raising and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine.
7. After 30 minutes of resting, quickly rinse eggplant slices under running water. Using a paper towel, pat dry.
8. In a large bowl, add remaining eggplant ingredients (olive oil through maple syrup) to form a marinade. Whisk until well combined.
9. Drip each eggplant slice into marinade, and then place flat on a tray. Let sit 10-15 minutes, while you heat the grill.
10. On high heat, grill each eggplant slice 3-4 minutes per side.
11. To serve, place grilled eggplant slices on a plate and sprinkle cilantro over top. Spoon turmeric quinoa on top of eggplant slices. If desired, garnish with more cilantro and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Planning a party? Check out our full vegan grilling guide for more recipe inspiration!