Argentine Grilled Eggplant


3 small Italian eggplants (4-6 oz each)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sweet or hot paprika
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)
salt & ground black pepper, to taste

This one needs a hot grill.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise; do not trim off the stem ends.  Mix the garlic and oil & brush the mixture over the cut sides of the eggplants. Combine the herbs and spices in a bowl and set aside. Place the eggplants, cut sides down on the grill until nicely browned, 3 - 4 minutes should do it with a hot enough fire. Brush the skin sides of the eggplants with the oil & garlic mixture. Turn the eggplants and brush the cut sides with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with the dried herb mixture and salt and black pepper to taste. Continue cooking, cut sides up, until the flesh is soft, 6 - 8 minutes more.  Serve immediately.