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Boar Scottadito with Tomatoes and Eggplant

Posted by Jesse Griffiths on 3rd Jun 2021

Pass the pinot: A big-flavored Italian marinade for grilled boar (or lamb) chops and a mix of charred vegetables make a summer meal worthy of your best bottle.

Meaning “burnt fingers” in Italian, these little grilled chops are traditionally made with lamb, but medium wild boar chops work, too. The marinade is heavy and piquant, and the fire should have equal intensity and be quite hot to heavily and quickly char the outsides. Don’t skip the anchovy; it adds a certain saltiness to the marinade and isn’t fishy at all. Serve these single-bone chops with grilled vegetables, like tomatoes and eggplant in the summer, or broccolini, carrots and cauliflower in the winter.

Serves 4

2½ pounds (about 12) thin, single-bone boar or lamb chops (short- or long-bone)

Marinade:

3 anchovy fillets

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only

2 sprigs mint, leaves only

⅓ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

To serve:

4 lemons, halved

1 pint small, ripe tomatoes

1 medium eggplant, sliced ½ inch thick

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Parsley and mint leaves

Season the chops with salt and pepper.

Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth, but with a little texture. Coat the chops well with the marinade and seal up in a plastic bag; marinate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat a grill to high, or build a really hot wood or charcoal fire and let it burn down to coals. Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper, set aside for about 15 minutes, and then toss them in the olive oil and vinegar. Have your clean serving platter ready, near the grill.

Grill the eggplant until nicely charred on each side, about 4–6 minutes per side. Once cooked, remove to the serving platter. Next, carefully grill the tomatoes until charred, using tongs to turn them. When they brown and blister, remove to the platter. You can use a vegetable grilling basket for this, if your tomatoes are too small and might fall through the grates. Grill the cut sides of the lemons until browned and caramelized.

Next, stoke the fire to make sure it's quite hot. Wipe most of the marinade from the chops and grill for about 3–4 minutes per side—maybe a little longer—until really browned and charred all over, especially the meaty rib bones. As they’re done, place them on the platter. Garnish with the parsley and mint and serve quickly so your guests can burn their fingers.