I am a sucker for eggplants. When I was living on my own, I would make a gratin of eggplants and tomatoes and it would feed me for a week. By the fifth day, I would be so tired of it that I could barely take another bite. But somehow I would do it all over again a few weeks later. Eggplants have a cast a spell on me. Maybe it's that lovely aubergine color? So when I saw these cute little specimens at the Yuno's Farm stand, I had to snap them up. They were so slender, they made zucchini look chubby in comparison, and each one was barely longer than my hand.
Chopping these guys up would make them indistinguishable from their larger cousins (aside from the their less bitter flavor), so slicing and roasting seemed like a good way to preserve their character. And I had bushels of kale in the fridge, so I made a quick little pesto to brighten the flavor up a bit and add some nutritional punch. Unlike my earlier encounters with eggplant, there weren't any leftovers.
Roasted Eggplant with Kale Pesto
This is hardly a recipe, but it's a great way to let stellar produce shine. Roasting the eggplant requires little oil, but you could also saute it on the stove. Beware adding too much fat though, or it can become greasy.
5 small eggplants (substitute 1 large), thinly sliced
1 clove garlic
1 bunch kale leaves, stems removed
pecorino cheese, grated
Place eggplant on a Silpat lined baking sheet (or a bare sheet brushed with oil) and sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast in a 350 degree oven until the vegetables have softened and colored a bit -- about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop garlic in a food processor with a little salt. Add kale and process until you have a course puree. Start drizzling in olive oil until you have a consistency you like (I would've added more to make a sauce, but I ran out of oil). Stir in the grated cheese and salt to taste.
Remove eggplant from oven, and drizzle pesto over the slices. Serve hot or at room temperature.