Lemon Pepper Dry-Rub Ribs with Garden Vegetable Barbecue Sauce
Created by Michel Nischan
Servings: Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb , trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia onion , coarsely chopped
  • 1 small eggplant , grilled until soft, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 18 ounces your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 racks (about 1 pound each) baby back pork ribs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 slices bacon , coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Directions
To make sauce: Preheat oven to 425°. Remove papery skin from garlic, leaving bulb intact. Cut thin slice off top to just expose cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap loosely in heavy-duty foil. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until cloves are soft; cool. Squeeze pulp from 4 cloves, then set aside.

In a large skillet, heat grape seed oil over medium-high flame. Add fennel and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce flame slightly, add onion, and sauté until vegetables are well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in eggplant, roasted garlic, and vinegar. Cook, stirring to break up eggplant, about 1 minute. Stir in barbecue sauce; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in basil and lemon juice to taste; set aside.

To make ribs: Preheat charcoal or gas grill. Remove thin layer of skin from underside of ribs by pulling it off in a sheet. Sprinkle ribs with salt.

Place ribs on grill rack. Cover and cook over medium heat 1 hour, turning once.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth and bacon to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

After 1 hour, if using a charcoal grill, add fresh coals to maintain heat. Place ribs over hot part of grill; brush with broth mixture, and sprinkle with some lemon zest and pepper. Cook ribs until browned and tender, about 30 minutes, repeatedly brushing and sprinkling while turning frequently. Coat ribs with broth once more, then sprinkle with garlic and parsley. Cook, turning frequently until garlic is golden but not burned, about 10 minutes. Serve with barbecue sauce.