Eaten either hot or at room temperature, this is one of those simple, but ultimately satisfying dishes that goes with almost anything and is so good eaten on its own.
Adapted from The Splendid Table, by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. This doubles easily.
Lightly brush both sides of each eggplant slice with oil. Blend together the garlic, parsley, basil and pepper. Spread a little of the herb blend over each slice. Lay the slice side by side on a large platter, stacking them if necessary. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 2 to 4 hours.
Cooking Eggplant on an Outdoor Grill:
Burn down a charcoal fire (using real wood charcoal briquets if possible), until a white ash has formed on the briquets. Heat should be moderate. Sprinkle the slices with salt. Grill the undrained eggplant slices about 10 minutes, turning once, or until deep golden brown on each side and soft when pierced with a knife. Spoon any seasonings left on the platter over each slice after turning. Transfer the finished slices to a platter and serve.
Cooking Eggplant Inside:
Grill undrained slices over medium heat on a gridded skillet or stove-top grill, until deep, golden brown on each side.
Spread any seasonings left on the platter over each slice before turning. Do this in several batches unless your cooking surface is large enough to hold all the slices in a single layer. Or you may preheat broiler, placing eggplant about 4" from the flame. Spread any leftover marinade over the slices, and have them in a single layer. Broil slowly until slices are deep golden brown on each side, and eggplant is soft when pierced.
Serve as a first course or main dish after topping the warm slices with long furls of Parmigiano-Reggiano or sheep cheese carved with a vegetable peeler. Enjoy!