Monday, June 27, 2011

Broiled Eggplant with Pesto

Does eggplant taste bad with anything? I know it's a very tricky vegetable. Some people can't stand it, some people don't care for it and some  people love it. I am in that last group. I absolutely adore egg plant. I actually think that it may have been the food of royalty, although don't quote me on that because it's just a thought, and I haven't researched that. But I will get back to you on that. Fried, sauteed, baked, or broiled, this delicious, not to mention gorgeous, vegetable just tastes good in every way. I also love pesto. It's nutty and robust and garlicky flavor just seemed like a good match for my dear eggplant. Sizzling under the broiler, the eggplant gets juicy and caramelized bringing out it's most intense flavors. The pesto enhances the eggplants earthy flavors and contributes an extra sparkle to this fantastic dish. Here's how its done.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise and place them on a greased baking sheet. Get out the olive oil. Only olive oil will do here, because the point is to add as much flavor. Plus this is a Mediterranean dish, and vegetable oil just isn't right.

Brush each slice with a generous, and I mean generous amount of olive oil. Eggplant meaty flesh is like a big sponge and if you don't put enough oil in it, it will just dry into its flesh. Get all the sides too, because they get crispy making it even more delectable.                                                                                                          

Place the pan under the broiler, (highest you can on an oven rack) for 10 minutes. Do NOT walk away. Take them out when they are beginning to get lightly golden.
Time for the pesto.

I like a lot but you can put as much or as little as you like. Spoon on the pesto in a rustic manner. It doesn't have to touch every corner, but spread it around.

Place the eggplant back into the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute. No longer or the pesto will dry out and burn.

And here is my little surprise. Why not make this even more sinful but sprinkling on some Parmesiano Reggiano. I'm such a bad girl. I know. Don't you love it?

Look at all those fluffy flakes of Parmesan cheese. Floating down onto the bubbly hot eggplant and pesto. Slowly melting in and merging with their flavors. It's dancing. They're dancing. Trust me. I know. I tasted it.

Don't tell me you aren't hungry by looking at this. A beautiful dish that gets even better when you take that first juicy, tangy bite.

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