Brushetta With Grilled Eggplant

Course : Grilled Vegetables
Serves: 4 - 6
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1 large eggplant
1 teaspoon salt
1 small red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic -- minced to a paste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 loaf crusty italian bread
1/4 cup capers -- drained

Preparation / Directions:

Trim the ends and slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle the slices lightly with salt and allow to drain on paper towels for 30 minutes. Rinse lightly and pat dry. meanwhile, car the red pepper over red-hot coals until blackened all over. Place the pepper in a closed brown paper bag for 10 minutes. Remove and scrape off all the blackened skin with the dull side of a knife. Do not rinse. Stem and see the pepper and slice it into 1-inch-long thin slivers. Brush the eggplant slices lightly with some of the olive oil. Grill the slices over medium-hot coals until browned and tender when pierced with a skewer, approximately 4 minutes per side. Chop the cooked eggplant and mix in the peppers, garlic, 1 tbsp. of the oil, vinegar, and parsley. Add salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use. Slice the bread into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Pour the remaining olive oil onto a plate. Grill the bread on both sides until browned. Dip one side quickly in the olive oil. Spread a spoonful of the eggplant mixture on the toasted bread and sprinkle a few capers on top. Serve immediately.

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