Easy Oven Baked or Grilled Eggplant Recipe

Eggplant is in season here and in many parts of the US. While Eggplant Parmesan is my all-time favorite way to enjoy this beautiful purple vegetable, of course we have a suggestion or 2 for making it with Outta The Park BBQ Sauce.

Generally, with any vegetable, you want to wash it and slice it uniformly. Baby eggplants can be cut in half lengthwise and larger eggplant can be cut the same way and then cut each half lengthwise again.

For oven-baked and for grilled eggplant, start with a coating of olive oil. Next season with salt and pepper and if desired any of your favorite spices or rubs. Rub the seasonings into the sliced eggplant. Rub by hand for best results but if you're keeping your hands clean, a pastry brush will do the trick.

Next for oven preparations, put eggplant on baking sheet into preheated 350 oven. Bake for about 25 minutes total. If you want to make it Outta The Park, add sauce around the 18-20 minute mark, and use the last few minutes of cook time to allow the sauce to carmelize.

On the grill, you want to sear the eggplant first for about 2 minutes on each side. Once seared move the eggplant so that it is not on the hottest part of the grill. Turn a burner off if necessary or move to a higher rack if that is how your grill is designed. Then cook the eggplant for around 15-20 more minutes with the lid closed but vented. Add sauce during the last 5-8 minutes of cook time. Be sure to flip the eggplant and sauce both sides.