1 Medium eggplant, cut into chunks
50g Walnuts, roasted lightly
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
18 Large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 Tbs)
half cup grated tasty cheese (Parmesan)
Pepper and Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Allow to cool and then chop coarsely.
Place the chopped eggplant and garlic in a baking dish.
Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant and place the dish in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and turn them all over and back in for 10 minutes until it’s all golden.
Add the roasted eggplants with the walnuts, basil and cheese into the bowl of your mixer and process until well blended and totally pureed.
When serving the pesto in a bowl, sprinkle a bit of extra olive oil and a couple of walnuts on top.
For a more sophisticated palate try a strong Provolone cheese instead of Parmesan.
Great way to use up leftover eggplant, especially after a barbecue.
Walnuts go well with eggplant, but any other toasted nut will do well.
Instead of using roasted garlic, process it fresh.
If you want a less calorific pesto, then use a light extra virgin olive oil.
Try a generous amount of this pesto on a pasta with fresh basil sprinkled on top.
Use it as a filling for lasagna, canellonis or to stuff pasta shells.
Try it as a dip or as a spread for bruschetta or eat it with fresh bread; it’s heavenly!