Broiled Eggplant with Pesto
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
Taste and TextureCheesy, Garlicky, Herby, Juicy, Nutty, Savory, Tangy
Type of DishVegetable
- 1 large eggplant
- About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 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
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.
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.
Spread the pesto over the scored surfaces of the eggplant and broil until golden and bubbling. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
2009 Simon Hopkinson