My love for eggplants is getting a little OOC lately. I eat eggplant without fail every single day. As a result of my sick obsession with the aubergine, I am always on the look out for new ways to get my eggplant fix. Last week I told you about my amazing take on baba ganoush, and since then I have been searching for another way to use my favorite veggie as a dip. Fat Free Vegan, an amazing recipe blog I drool over and bookmark all the time, recently featured one such recipe for Eggplant Pesto. I followed Susan’s recipe almost exactly, just upping the sun-dried tomato count, and had myself a huge bowl of mouth watering pesto sans cheese, mayo and oil as typical pesto sauces tend to use.
Instead of pine nuts this recipe uses almonds, making this dish not only less expensive but better for you too. Almonds are probably the most healthful nut around, bursting with antioxidents, good fats and other heart-healthy benefits. When eaten in moderation almonds can also help you lose weight and boost your metabolism. The small dose you will get in each serving is the perfect way to enjoy the perks of these nuts without going overboard. It’s also crazy mmmm mmmm probably the best thing I’ve made in weeks good. Jump on the eggplant pesto train and you may never eat it the traditional way again.
Eggplant Pesto (slightly adapted from Susan’s recipe)
(Makes 8 large servings)
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup whole almonds
4 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
2 cloves garlic
2 cups basil leaves
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
salt to taste
Here’s the prep:
At least 2 hours before using (and up to overnight), place almonds in a bowl and cover completely with water. Allow to soak at room temperature. Drain water before using.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim off and discard the stem end of eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Pierce the backs of the eggplant with a fork in a few places. Bake until completely soft and somewhat collapsed, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. This can be done ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use which is what I did.
Now prep is done!
Put the almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic into food processor and pulse to chop.
Peel the eggplant and add it, the basil, and the nutritional yeast to the processor and process to a coarse puree.
Add salt to taste and pulse to blend.
Tada!!! Instant presto eggplant pesto!
Add a tablespoon to a serving of warm pasta (if the pesto is too thick to easily coat the pasta, add a little hot water to it), or use as a spread for bread or a dip for crackers or vegetables. It’s seriously stupid good so you may also do like I do and eat it straight up on yo spoon.
Nutrition (per serving): 52 calories, 2.6g fat, 3.1 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar, 2.8 g protein
Wahoooo! Hope you guys enjoy this new, healthy and eggplant-infused take on one of my all time favorite sauces, pesto!
It’s almost the weekend and I need it like woah. I’m in the home stretch at school for the quarter (2 more weeks!) and am needing a release. Think a super decadent chocolate recipe may be headed your way soon 🙂
Your Vegan Girlfriend