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
1 baguette, halved lengthwise
6 ounces feta cheese
Fresh basil, torn, for sprinkling
Sprinkle eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons salt, place in a colander, and let stand 30 minutes. Wipe off salt and moisture with paper towels.
Mix olive oil, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil mixture. Place vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in reserved oil mixture, and let cool.
Preheat grill to medium; brush grill with vegetable oil. Brush eggplant slices generously with some remaining oil mixture. Grill eggplant, covered, until slightly charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side.
Increase grill temperature to high. Brush baguette with remaining oil mixture, and grill until toasted, about 3 minutes. Cut baguette into pieces in various sizes.
Place eggplant, baguette, and feta on a large platter. Drizzle eggplant and feta with some vinegar mixture, then sprinkle torn basil over top. Serve with remaining vinegar mixture.
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