The Pesto Eggplant Starter

The Pesto Eggplant Starter

For the eggplant:

  • 4 small-medium eggplant, cut lengthwise into 2 cm slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts

For the pesto:

  • 2 cups basil (you can sub for parsley or cilantro)
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the eggplant:

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on the cut eggplant and place them into a colander to drain for one hour. Rinse with cold water and pat them dry.
  2. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place eggplant slices on the grill pan (or oven pan sheet) and cook until browned on each side.

For the pesto:

  1. Add the basil (or parsley or cilantro), walnuts, cheese, garlic and lemon zest to a food processor and pulse. While the processor is running, slowly add olive oil and pulse until fully smooth then add salt and pepper.

Combine:

Spread pesto on top of eggplant and top with walnuts. Pair it with Leafy green salad.

*Credit to Kara Lydon