About this recipe:Aubergine is fried in olive oil until softened, covered in freshly made pesto and then grilled in this delicious vegetarian starter. It was inspired after I ate it in a very famous London restaurant! A simple rocket salad is perfect with this.
120ml olive oil, for frying
2 large aubergines, halved lengthwise
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
10g fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for pesto
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:20min › Ready in:35min
Preheat the oven grill.
Heat 120ml olive oil in a pan over medium heat. While heating the oil, cut slits in a crisscross pattern in the 'flesh' of the aubergine halves, being careful not to pierce the skin. This will allow the heat and oil to penetrate better. Lightly season the aubergine with salt and pepper; gently lay the aubergine halves into the hot oil, skin sides facing up; fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Flip the aubergine halves and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and allow to drain on a plate lined with kitchen roll.
Make the pesto by blending the basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and about half of the extra-virgin olive oil in a blender until smooth; slowly stream the remaining extra-virgin olive oil into the mixture as it blends.
Arrange the aubergine halves in a baking tray with flesh side up. Slather the pesto over the surface of the aubergines.
Cook the aubergines under the grill until the pesto begins to bubble, 7 to 10 minutes.
Any leftover pesto can be refrigerated for a couple of days and used with pasta or as desired.