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Grilled Marinated Aubergines with Chilli and Mint

This simple starter pairs smoky strips of aubergine with a fresh mint, chilli and garlic dressing. Use a griddle pan to achieve perfect grill lines on the aubergine with ease or cook quickly on the BBQ on hot summer days.

From the book

Theo Randall


Cooking aubergines in a griddle pan takes patience but is worth it – try to achieve perfect criss-cross marks on both sides if possible. This is also a perfect dish to cook on the BBQ. The dressing of red chilli, garlic, mint and vinegar cuts wonderfully through the flavour of the smoky aubergines.

You can also make this into a very tasty canapé. Roll up the grilled aubergines with grated ricotta salata in the middle, then place a toothpick through the centre to hold it in place. Serve with the sauce drizzled on top.

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4 medium aubergines (eggplants)
1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little sea salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 mint leaves
100g (3½oz) wild rocket (argula)
50g (1¾oz) ricotta salt or feta


Heat a griddle pan until very hot.

Slice the aubergines into slices or rounds 1cm (½in) thick, and carefully place on the hot griddle pan. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, so each slice can cook evenly. After a couple of minutes, the aubergines should have some dark griddle marks. Turn each slice clockwise on the griddle pan so you keep cooking on the same side but you don’t get too much char in the same place. Cook for 2 more minutes, then flip the slices over. You should have lovely pronounced criss-cross marks on the top side. Repeat this cooking method for the other side. It is very important to cook aubergines all the way through as they taste strange when not cooked properly, so ensure they are soft before removing them from the pan. Place on a wire rack to cool.

In a large bowl, add the crushed garlic in salt, the vinegar, chillies and olive oil. Add the grilled aubergines and mix so all the ingredients coat the aubergines. Place on a nice flat serving plate or platter.

In the same bowl you mixed the aubergines in, add the mint leaves and rocket and mix with the remnants of the marinade. Place the leaves on top of the marinated aubergines. Using a grater, shave the ricotta salata all over the rocket and mint.


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