Grilled Japanese Eggplants

Course : Grilling
Serves: 8
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1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt -- white pepper
16 medium Japanese eggplants *
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium green or yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs **
1 piece 8 inch slices goat cheese
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar -- packed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-----balsamic dressing-----
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ---
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt -- pepper

Preparation / Directions:

*Note: Eggplants should be split lengthwise. ** (basil, oregano, thyme) ***Fresh lemon juice may be substituted for Balsamic vinegar if desired. Combine garlic, olive oil, basil and salt and white pepper to taste in shallow pan. Place eggplants, split side down, in marinade and turn several times to coat well. Let marinate 20 minutes. Grill eggplants, split side down, over medium coals. Set aside when done. Roast peppers on grill until charred. Place in plastic bag until cool enough to peel. Under cold running water, peel off charred portions of skin. Cut peppers into eighths, discarding seeds. Set aside. Press herbs onto goat cheese medallions. Heat at 350F 3 minutes until warmed. Sauté‚ walnuts in butter. Toss with brown sugar, cayenne and dash of salt. Set aside. Arrange 4 eggplant halves on each of 8 plates and place 2 strips each of red and green peppers between eggplant halves. Set 2 cheese medallions beside peppers. Sprinkle sauté‚ed walnuts over top. To make dressing, combine vinegar, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over salad.

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