Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Vinegar

• 2 1/2 pounds small eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
• 1 cup balsamic vinegar
• Vegetable oil, for grill

• Fresh basil, torn, for sprinkling
Throw in the sliced eggplant, tossing delicately with the vinaigrette until all pieces are coated evenly. Transfer to a foil-lined baking dish, spreading the eggplant out evenly. If there’s extra vinaigrette, leave that out. You want only a very fine coating of flavor and then a nice, dry roast in the oven. Give it one last sprinkle of salt before it goes in the oven. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, turning once half way through, until the skin of the eggplant starts to wrinkle and caramelize and becomes very tender. This technique works with sweet bell peppers as well.