Getting the most we can out of the remaining vegetable season with our abundance of basil and eggplant. Sliced thin and grilled, we added our eggplant to this delicious blender-made basil pesto sauce and pasta.
4 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Add the pine nuts and garlic to a high-speed blender. Top with the basil leaves and process until very finely minced. With the machine running slowly add the oil and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the cheese and process just long enough to combine. Set aside.
2 medium eggplants
Kosher salt for sprinkling
1/3 cup olive oil
Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal.
Lay the slices on a large baking sheet. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on the grill. Carefully brush the top sides of the slices with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Close the grill and cook for 5 minutes or until grill marks strongly appear.
Open the grill and turn the slices over, close the lid of the grill again, and cook until grill marks appear on the other side and the eggplant is very tender; about 5 more minutes.
Remove, cover and keep warm.
Assemble the dish
One pound Pasta
Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese
Following the package directions, cook the pasta. Strain and add back to the pot. Stir in the basil pesto to coat the pasta. Serve warm in bowls topped with the grilled eggplant and topped with grated fresh parmesan cheese.