Grilled Eggplant – Rosa Bianca Eggplant Heirloom Variety

by on October 22, 2008


Our eggplants are showing signs of surrendering to Fall’s arrival. They’re becoming yellow, tougher and seedy. The season is telling us that it’s time to cook what eggplants are still tender and to collect the seeds from the tougher ones. Our Bianca Rosa variety of eggplants are one of our favorites to grow because they are sweet, fleshy and less bitter than most other varieties. The minimal amount of seeds make the Bianca Rosa variety perfect for grilling, baking and for just about anything that requires eggplant.

One of our favorite ways to prepare eggplant is to grill it.  The smokey flavor from the grill makes the slightly crisp outer surface encasing the creamy white interior flesh absolutely delectable.  Often times our grilled eggplant has been intended as a component of another dish, but it somehow never makes it there.  We keep snacking on the slices even while they are still almost too hot to hold.


Rosa Bianca eggplant from the garden

We’re submitting our grilled rosa bianca eggplants to Andrea from Andreas Recipes for her fabulous event, Grow Your Own. Grilled eggplant is incredibly versatile.  Beyond straight snacking, grilled slices are a great alternative way to prepare the eggplant for eggplant parmesean.  One can also use them in a sandwich, served on rice, or alongside some sauteed garlic spinach.  Grill some eggplant halves, scoop out the flesh, then use that to prepare eggplant caviar or baba ghanouj.  Those two dressing/dips (some may argue that eggplant caviar is baba ghanouj, but that is a discussion for another time), make a fantastic spread for sandwiches, topping for bruschetta, or as a dip for raw veggies.

Grilled Eggplant Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour 30 Minutes


  • Eggplant
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper


How to grill eggplant:

  • Cut the eggplant either into lengthwise halves, or into 1/3-1/2" slices, depending on what you intend to use the eggplant for

(Next two steps are unnecessary if using more less bitter varieties of eggplant, such as Bianca Rosa, Japanese Eggplant, or Chinese Eggplant)

  • If you are using an Italian Eggplant or similar variety, sprinkle the slices with salt, and all to sit for 45 min - 1 hr.
  • Rinse off eggplant, and pat dry.

Light grill and set up for direct heat cooking, about medium heat.

  • Lightly coat both sides of the eggplant with olive oil.  Season with a touch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • (For Halves) - Place on grill, cut side down.  Cook until the body of the eggplant gives very easily to a gentle finger prod.
  • (For Slices) - Place on grill and cook until it is slightly charred.  Flip and repeat.  The interior texture should be soft and fairly translucent with a slightly charred outside.  Tasty.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


cool, eggplant shower


Cut, drizzle with oil and grill


How do you prepare your eggplant? Please share and link away so we can all learn!

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa October 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

I am a huge fan of grilled eggplant. It’s the last of my garden crop to still be holding on here in RI. One of my favorite sandwiches is grilled eggplant, with carmalized onions and gooey provolone on ciabatta. So good! I’m jealous that your garden is still producing so much (but I love Fall in New England so it’s all good!).


2 MyKitchenInHalfCups October 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm

;0) I don’t have a Bianca Rosa just an ordinary purple one but that’s my dinner tonight!


3 Andrea October 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Love the photos! We grilled eggplant a lot this summer. Eggplant season is over here, but I’ll enjoy it vicariously through you two. :-)


4 Manggy October 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm

One of the earliest recollections I have of grilling eggplant was watching a TV Chef (from Oregon– guess who!) marinate them in balsamic vinegar and then grilling them to be used as the “meat” in a sandwich. I’ve always been intrigued by grilled eggplant since. I think I’d be a fan of your non-bitter, sweet eggplant– too bad we rarely get non-purple varieties here (though we get the Asian varieties a lot).


5 maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) October 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Oh, these are stunning pictures of very attractive vegetables. I do enjoy grilled eggplant. Very filling.


6 Hélène October 16, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Those eggplants are so nice. I love how the pictures turned out.


7 Julie October 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm

That eggplant is so pretty!

I’ve never had grilled eggplant any way but plain so I need to try out some of these other ways to use it. But plain is good, especially with a little squeeze of lemon to top it off.


8 Chez US October 16, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Great photos! We LOVE eggplant .. especially grilled. I just got a stove top grill pan which really grills them up nicely with the same smokey flavors… YUM!!!!!


9 Christie@fig&cherry October 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Don’t forget ratatouille!!! Yum yum :)


10 Tartelette October 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Lovely variety! I am always surprised at the number of seeds in eggplants in the US versus of those happenings that make me happy to be experiencing all sorts of different things…Yep, philosophy over eggplants…I obviously need sleep of a Club Med vacay (lucky you!!)


11 Kitt October 16, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Alas, I can no longer eat eggplant (that and kiwi are the only foods I’m allergic to). But my dad used to make awesome deep-fried eggplant, cut like fat french fries. He rarely cooked, so it was always special when he made it.


12 Spruce Moose October 17, 2008 at 4:02 am

Wow – amazing photos again. Great exposure on the eggplant washing shots. They’re such a lovely combination of white and purple.


13 entangled October 17, 2008 at 6:34 am

My eggplant plants were devoured by flea beetles and Colorado potato beetles early in the season, so no homegrown ones here. But, I like to roast whole eggplants – in the oven, or even better, over the dying embers of a charcoal fire after we’ve grilled something. Then you have the makings of baba ganoush or baingan bharta.


14 RecipeGirl October 17, 2008 at 6:36 am

Who knew that eggplant could be so pretty?

Those are some steamy, sexy eggplant shower shots!


15 Dee October 17, 2008 at 6:41 am

We love eggplants. Usually it’s just as you do, but sometimes I grill then toss the eggplants in a dressing of lemon, cumin, chile and olive oil. Bliss.


16 Mike October 17, 2008 at 8:11 am

I don’t know how I always forget about egg plant. I’ve used it so infrequently. I really need to address it. I love the photos–especially that first one! The water looks surreal


17 nikkipolani October 17, 2008 at 8:30 am

You know, just your mention of “yellow” and “eggplant” together in one post is going to garner you a lot of visitors :-) Lots of people wanting to know why their eggplant turns yellow (and seedy and astoundingly bitter). Your Biancas look lovely and tempting, though!


18 Rita October 17, 2008 at 10:40 am

I agree, those are my favourites too. I like to have them grilled with some heirloom tomatoes…huummm


19 missginsu October 17, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Seeing them white really makes it more clear why they were called “eggplants” in the first place.

Your photos make them seem much more egg-like than the grocery-standard purple ones or those long, skinny Italian varieties.


20 Fran Magbual October 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm

One of our favorite ways to eat eggplant is to char them on the grill, peel, chop up and mix with onion, tomato and patis (or other fish sauce) to taste. Simple, tasty and great side for grilled or baked meats. Another variation is to “dress” the eggplant after charring and peeling with lemon or vinegar, hot peppers (thai bird chilis work great) and coconut milk (canned is fine). A rich and satisfying side dish.


21 matt wright October 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I love eggplant, and didn’t even know you guys grew it (I am sure you showed us, but my memory ain’t up to much these days). I know this doesn’t make for a great tale, but I prepare mine exactly the same way you do. I didn’t know however that salting is required with Japanese Eggplant – that is good to know!


22 Linda October 17, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Those eggplants looks soo fresh and delicious. My mum usuallly grills the eggplants, them removes the skin. She then mashes the flesh with some finely chopped garlic, flavoured with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. She finally garnishes it with chopped spring onions. I don’t really eat eggplants, but I love this dish.


23 alexandra's kitchen October 17, 2008 at 9:44 pm

This post is making me so hungry for eggplant. I didn’t cook it enough this summer!


24 Big Boys Oven October 18, 2008 at 10:43 am

Love them as they look so lovely!


25 Lori Lynn October 18, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I am a huge fan of grilled eggplant and now I am so excited to try heirloom eggplant varieties. So pretty!


26 White on Rice Couple October 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Lisa – That sandwich sounds tasty! We’re pretty jealous of your fall color, so it looks like we are even ;)

MyKitchenInHalfCups – “regular” eggplant still = tasty!

Andrea – Yeah, we’re pretty lucky with our long growing season. But we miss out on some of the “real fall feel.” Location trade offs.

Manggy – We LOVE eggplant and balsamic together. The asian varieties are tops on our list as well.

Maybelles Mom – Thanks. We were lucky to have good models. They weren’t divas at all ;)

Helene – Thank you.

Julie – Simplicity is often the best way to eat things. Eggplant with lemon is mighty tasty.

Chez Us = Table top grill = year round grilling! Yay!

Christie @ fig&cherry – Thanks for the reminder on ratatouille. It’s been on our list of things we like but haven’t made ourselves yet.

Tartelette – We always philosophize over food. Aren’t the best conversations had at the dinner table? To eat, or not to eat… That merely begins the question.

Kitt – Our condolences on your allergies. Eggplant fries… salivating.

Spruce Moose – Thanks. We were fortunate to have good lighting there.

entangled – Sorry about your garden. We’re lucky our pests (dogs included) didn’t attack our yet.

RecipeGirl – Time for a cold shower! Ha ha ha ha. Naughty little food porn!

Dee – Cumin & chile… We’re going to have to try that. Sounds yummy!

Mike – Somehow eggplant is easy to overlook. We find that we go through phases of using it and forgetting about it. It is so tasty when we remember, though.

nikkipolani – Now they’ll know. They’re eggplant are just too old for cooking. Time to save the seeds for next season.

Rita – You’re on the money with that one. Tomaters & eggplant grilled. Nummy.

missginsu – There are other varieties that are almost exactly like an egg. The Vietnamese will frequently pickle them. It’s one of our favorite pickled treats.

Fran Magbual – Both of those dishes sound fantastic. More stuff to add to our eggplant repetiore. Thanks.

matt wright – We’ve got so much growing, it’s easy to miss one or two things. Actually, for the Japanese or Chinese eggplant, you don’t need to salt them. They don’t have much bitterness at all if they are fairly fresh.

Linda – That sound very similar to the eggplant caviar recipe we use. Tasty. For things people don’t like, we like to say they just haven’t had it in a way they like yet.

alexandra’s kitchen – We didn’t either. We are trying to make up for it now. 6 or 7 times a summer just is too little for something so good.

Big Boys Oven – Taste lovely too.

Lori Lynn – It’s fun to experience fruits and veggies beyond what we are able to get in the stores. So many great foods out there.


27 noobcook October 18, 2008 at 11:49 pm

so envious of your beautiful eggplants … wish we have this variety here! Lovely photos!

So far, I have tried either 1) dipping the sliced eggplants in egg and pan-frying the slices or 2) parboiling them and then stir frying like this


28 Jen Yu October 19, 2008 at 7:02 am

Mmmm, eggplant! I’d be hard pressed to eat those beauts though, they are so gorgeous. I still take little mental vacays to your backyard, ya know :) I typically cook eggplant one of two ways. I either grill thin slices and chuck them onto a sandwich with pesto, provolone, tomatoes, etc. or I do them Chinese style:


29 Donald October 19, 2008 at 11:46 am

Those look great. We love eggplant here. I like them grilled and in a parmasan. But my absolute favorite is panko crusted then deep fried and topped with parmesan cheese!


30 Jue October 19, 2008 at 11:51 am

Wish I had a garden full of eggplant. I like them roasted whole dipped in a soy-dashi sauce.


31 Jesse October 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Oh my GAAAAD, I’ve missed reading about the two of you soooo much!!!! This just made my day. One of my favourite veggies being cooked by two of my fav bloggers… =D

My mommy fries eggplant with sambal and terasi (chili and fermented prawn paste). It burns so good…


32 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) October 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm

I love these eggplants, and even have a painting of one in my kitchen. They’re quite uncommon at farmers’ markets around here.


33 Marc @ NoRecipes October 19, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Fantastic photos! Love the one of the eggplant under running water.


34 Pepy October 22, 2008 at 6:22 am

I love these kind of eggplants.. I haven’t had it for so long


35 sheetal October 22, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Beautiful photographs as usual … particularly like the eggplants getting a shower.


36 Nate October 24, 2008 at 9:47 am

I’ve seen those at the farmer’s market but never tried them. Should pick some up next time…


37 Babbette November 25, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Had them for the first time recently on the BBQ Loved them.
Had some tonite grilled drissled with rosemary garlic and balsmatic
and red wine vingerate Olive oil. and rock salt. Im converted will have them
in my cupboard from now on


38 quickgardens June 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

I have just grown my first one. Thanks for the recipe.


39 Joewadeswife August 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

My stepfather just got a few rosa bianca eggplants from a friend of his, we’re going to grill them and then stack them with tomato, basil and feta and grill the stack together. I’ve done similar recipes successfully with american eggplant, I’m hoping this comes out at least as delicious!


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