Baked Aubergines with Pesto Sauce
If you can find them, use the little Asian aubergines to make this dish – they look very pretty and have a more interesting texture than the large ones. When buying herbs, try going to independent stores or market stalls where they are sold like bunches of flowers – I find these herbs taste better and are much better value.
300g small aubergines
4 tbsp olive oil
For the pesto
a large bunch of basil
75g pan-toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6-8 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a baking sheet, lightly oiled
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and put on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a little of the olive oil and cook in a preheated oven at 190°C/gas mark 5 for about 15-20 minutes, then turn them over and cook for a further 15 minutes.
To make the pesto, put the basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, the remaining olive oil and seasoning in a blender and purée until smooth. When the aubergines are cooked, drizzle with pesto and serve hot or cold.
Top tip: Make twice the quantity of pesto and store the extra in the fridge – it always comes in handy as an easy salad dressing or tossed through pasta for a quick, delicious supper. Keep the pesto covered with a thin film of olive oil and it will stay fresh for several weeks.
Extracted from Eat, Drink Live by Fran Warde (Ryland Peters & Small, approx €17).