Grilled Green Bean Antipasto
The charcoal taste of this dish is well worth the tedious effort involved in grilling the beans. This recipe is far superiority to the Aggie version, in which the beans are laid parallel, rather than perpendicular, to the bars of the grid.
Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices, salt liberally on both sides, and drain in a colander for an hour or more.
Make a vinaigrette with the vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, the chopped leaves of several sprigs of oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Trim the green beans, blanch in boiling water for three minutes, and refresh under cold running water. Mix with the vinaigrette and allow to marinate for an hour. Meanwhile, prepare and light a bed of coals in a charcoal grill. When the coals are hot, carefully lay the beans on the grid (yes, perpendicular to the bars) and turn until cooked on all sides and just beginning to blacken. Return the grilled beans to their marinade.
Roast the peppers directly over a gas flame until blackened all over. Seal in a paper bag until cool. Rub off the black skin, remove the stems, seeds, and ribs, and cut into thin slices. Mince the garlic with a half teaspoon of salt and mix with the pepper strips and four tablespoons of olive oil. Allow to marinate.
Press the drained eggplant slices between paper towels. Liberally cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and sauté the eggplant over medium heat, turning and adding more olive oil as needed, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Mix the green beans, peppers, eggplant, capers, and olives in a bowl, transfer to a serving dish, and top with the remaining oregano, chopped. Serve at room temperature.