Extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salmoriglio Marinade:
Garlic cloves to your taste (I use 1 to 2)
1 or 2 fresh or dried chillies
Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
8 mint leaves, chopped
8 basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp of oregano
Juice of one lemon
100ml of good extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Wash the eggplants and slice them, arrange on a tray or platter and sprinkle generously with salt. After half an hour rinse away the salt and the bitter juice with cold water.
Dry the slices with kitchen paper towels. Brush both sides with a generous amount of olive oil. Place the slices on a very hot griddle pan or under a hot grill; cook until both sides are nicely browned and slightly char-grilled.
Prepare the Salmoriglio by pounding together the herbs, garlic, chilli and a little of the oil with a pestle and mortar to produce a fine pesto; alternatively use an electric blender (for a more subtle flavour the garlic may be poached in a little of milk for 10 minutes, as this draws out some of its strong taste).
Stir the pesto into the lemon juice, the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Drizzle the Salmoriglio marinade over the grilled eggplant and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour: the longer the better. It can be served as an antipasto or side-dish.
Note: the Salmoriglio can also be used to drizzle over grilled or roasted meat and fish.