As most of us know, pesto sauce (or pesto alla genovese) is a sauce that combines pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, salt, lost of fresh basil and Parmagiano or Pecorino cheese. The sauce can compliment almost anything. But how about eggplant? Which set me to thinking, Why not our beloved eggplant? The result is the dish given below. An experiment that turned out delicious. Even in Genoa, the city that invented pesto, they would appreciate this combo.
(Makes 2 cups)
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
½ to 1 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper, and ½ cup olive oil. Process until a paste is formed. Slowly add additional oil (if needed) in a steady stream, and cheese. Pulse several times more. Don’t forget to occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
1 large eggplant (about 1½ pounds), sliced into ½-inch rounds (do not peel)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1, Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
2. Drizzle olive oil over eggplant slices. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Arrange eggplant in a large greased baking pan or dish (we prefer cast-iron). Note that if the dish is not large enough you may have to layer the eggplant slices to accommodate all.
3. Bake until brown and tender, about 35 minutes. Top with pesto sauce and bake 5 minutes more.
Yield: 4-6 servings.