Broiled Eggplant with Pesto


The Vegetarian Option

Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: It doesn't take a ton of ingredients to make a delicious vegetarian recipe, as you can see from this Broiled Eggplant with Pesto. This eggplant recipe cooks up in less than a half hour, so it's perfect for a last-minute dinner idea! Homemade pesto and a squeeze of lemon come together with the baked eggplant for a flavorful vegetable recipe that works well as a main course or as a side dish. Give your vegetarian meals a little Italian flair - this is one of those recipes that seems complicated but is actually very simple.
An old favorite, which I could not resist including here.


Cooking MethodBaking, Broiling



OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course, Side Dish

Dietary ConsiderationDiabetic, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Low Carb, Low Cholesterol, Low Saturated Fat, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

EquipmentFood Processor, Mortar And Pestle

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCheesy, Garlicky, Herby, Juicy, Nutty, Savory, Tangy

Type of DishVegetable


  • 1 large eggplant
  • About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • A large bunch of basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • ½ lemon, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the eggplant lengthwise in half, through the stalk. Using a small, sharp knife, make a crisscross pattern across the cut surfaces, to a depth of about ¾ inch. Brush with a little of the olive oil and season. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. The flesh should be very soft.

  2. Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet, then remove from the skillet and cool. Process the basil, garlic, and pine nuts, together with a little salt and pepper, to a paste in a food processor (or use a mortar and pestle for a more authentic result). Now add enough of the olive oil to produce a loose-textured puree. Finally, briefly mix in the cheese.

  3. Spread the pesto over the scored surfaces of the eggplant and broil until golden and bubbling. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.


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