Aug 15, 2013

Nuts & Seeds {Aubergine and Parsley Pesto}

I hate it when everything comes together.
Said no one ever.

This week's I Heart Cooking Clubs theme is "Nuts & Seeds."  I'm using pine ingredient that's referred to as a nut, but is really a seed.

See how that worked out all nice and neat?

My garden has recently decided to crank out all of its eggplant.  At one time.  We've made Eggplant Parmesan.  We've made ratatouille.  Grilled eggplant sandwiches.  I needed a new idea.  Preferably one that wouldn't use the oven.  And wouldn't require me to run to the store.

Along comes Yotam Ottolenghi's Aubergine & Parsley Pesto.  I had everything...or could make do.  The recipe uses Ottolenghi's "burnt aubergine" method.  All my IHCC buddies are raving about it and my friend Sue @ Couscous & Consciousness adapted this method for the grill.  (No running the oven when the heat index is 107 F.  Thank you, Sue!)

Everything came together in one perfect package.

On bread!

Ottolenghi suggests using this pesto for pasta or bruschetta.

I really, really liked this.  The eggplant was creamy and incredibly smoky.  It lended almost a meaty flavor and texture to the pesto.

The guys did not like it.  One thought it looked gross.  The other really wanted more ratatouille.  Oh well.  It worked for me.

The original recipe can be found HERE.
My pine nut supply was a little short--I used a mix of pine nuts and pecans from my freezer.  My parsley is being taken over by butterfly larvae, so I had to use a mix of parsley and basil.  Pecorino would have required an hour drive.  Parmesan required a couple of steps.

IHCC Ottolenghi Leek Badge resized MyMeatlessMondays

 Hearth and Soul blog hop at Premeditated Leftovers 

Print It

Aubergine and Parsley Pesto
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

4 medium aubergines
1/3 c pine nuts
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3/4 c parsley leaves
1 sprig basil
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
heaping 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a grill to medium high.  Cut a few slashes into the skin of the aubergines and place on the hot grill.  Grill for about 20 minutes, turning, until the skins have turned black and charred.  When cool enough to handle, remove the charred skins and place the flesh in a colander to drain.

Place the pine nuts, pecans or walnuts, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano in a food processor.  Process until well chopped.  Add the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and fold in the cheese and aubergine flesh.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Can be stored in the refrigerator, well sealed, for five days.

Serve tossed into pasta or on top of toasted bread.


  1. Let me start by saying that I'm a pesto lover!!
    You have no idea how much I love pesto - I eat it with a teaspoon :)
    Secondly - I love eggplant, almost in every shape and form
    So all I need is the teaspoon and eat this pesto with nothing else :)

  2. YUM! Works for me! Love eggplant, but must eat it in small doses as it exacerbates a skin condition that I have. I know. Weird, but true. I imagine a bowl of this pesto would be an easy way to get an eggplant fix without pushing things too much!

  3. Funny isn't it... sometimes it does not matter that the guys don't like it!;)

  4. I too have a glut of aubergine and am constantly trying to find ways to use it. Thanks for the idea.

  5. I'm going to have to try this one. I've been playing with pestos lately since I found some DELISH lemon basil at the local market.

  6. I haven't yet tried Ottolenghi's burnt eggplant but I really must, and soon. This pesto recipe looks like a good place to start.


  7. If you enjoy visiting linkies, photo challenges, and blog hops - or if you host one of your own - please consider visiting here:
    Be sure to link your recurring hop under the day when it's normally posted.
    And while you’re at it, stop by my weekly hop, Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday, to share your photos, and feel free to share my button… you’ll find the code on my sidebar.

  8. Hi Deb,
    I love pesto, and never would have thought to use aubergine in a pesto! Another wonderful recipe from Ottolenghi! Having it with bread sounds so delicious!

  9. Michelle, This sounds so good. Your photos are so beautiful too. I should say everything really did come together. Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies. Can't wait to try this one. Thanks!

  10. I have been wanting to make this one! I think I would be happy just scooping it out of the bowl--although it looks fabulous with the peels of Parmesan on top of the bread. Yum!

  11. I most definitely want to rustle up a batch of this! It looks gorgeous. For me smokey is the only way to go with aubergines, love it like that & mixed in to this pesto it sounds absolutely delicious.

  12. Yum! Everything about this sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

    I found your blog via the Hearth & Soul Hop this week.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.