Eggplant with pesto

What can I do with all my basil? Well, for all the Australians who have basil inundating their gardens in summer, try this.

This is from Simon Hopkinson’s vegetarian collection. It’s an idea more than a recipe. I guess you’d call this an Italian version of that wonderful Japanese dish of baked eggplant which, now that I think of it, I must make again.

Half an eggplant per serve and sufficient pesto to cover each when the time comes….

Heat the oven to 220C according to him – I made mine a trifle lower as it is a rather efficient machine. Cut the eggplant in half longwise, score it and brush it with olive oil. Place cut side up in the oven and bake until soft. Mine took a good half an hour and there were no more than medium in size.

When soft and brown, remove from oven, cover with a generous coating of pesto, which you made while the eggplants were baking. Place back in the oven for a few minutes.

Remove, serve with trepidation and lemon – actually it was really very nice with the lemon, though it isn’t necessary. Nor was the trepidation in retrospect.

I’d been looking for something to redeem the eggplant which has been in the sinbin for a while due to misbehaving dreadfully in the making of a spaghetti sauce a while back. It is a hard thing to forgive, the eggplant, as a bad experience rather sets in the mind. Well, okay, this simple dish did it. It’s back on the shopping list.

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