Roasted eggplant and tomatoes with pesto make a great side dish – or building block for pastas, sandwiches, and even lasagna!
If you’re a regular here on TNB, you know I’m forever on a mission to eat more vegetables, a wider variety of them, and in new preparations. (And inspire you to do the same). Beets? Got ‘em here over crispy rice. Peas? So good in this potato salad. Leeks? Joltingly pungent in this refreshing side dish.
Eggplant and tomatoes are both hallmarks of late summer eating and I wanted to honor them this week, as it is [unofficially] the last week of summer. (I’m not crying, you’re crying…) The two work together perfectly – like in eggplant parm, for example, or this Russian eggplant spread – since the meatiness of eggplant contrasts nicely with the tanginess of tomatoes.
This roasted eggplant and tomatoes recipe is inspired by something I spotted in Deliciously Ella’s latest book. It is essentially the same – although, of course, she calls them “aubergines” – but I tweaked the roasting method and pesto ingredients to suit my own preferences.
This roasted eggplant and tomatoes with pesto is a simple and delicious way to cook up a bounty of fresh vegetables. You can serve this as a side, or use it as a building block for other dishes:
Toss this with short-cut pasta (like penne or orecchiette) for a simple dinner, or serve it cool/at room temperature like pasta salad
Toss this with small baked potatoes
Pile it into a ciabatta roll and take it to work for lunch
Layer it into a lasagna
Basically, there are a lot of possibilities here. Another benefit is that you can cook this recipe entirely in advance, which makes it perfect for dinner parties, potlucks, and even meal prep.Print
Roasted eggplant and tomatoes with pesto make a great side dish – or building block for pastas, sandwiches, and even lasagna! (Adapted from The Plant-Based Cookbook by Deliciously Ella)
For the Vegetables
- 2 small eggplants (about 1 ¼ pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
For the Pesto
- 3 packed cups basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
- 1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (See Note)
- 1 teaspoon miso
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Arrange the eggplant in a single layer in a 9”x13” glass or ceramic baking dish (like Pyrex). Sprinkle with the coarse salt and let stand until you see tiny moisture bubbles on the surface, 10 to 15 minutes. (This draws out the eggplant’s excess moisture and bitterness.)
- Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cover tightly with foil and roast until the eggplant is starting to soften, about 25 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and remaining tablespoon of oil, and toss to combine. Continue roasting, uncovered, until the vegetables are soft and golden brown, about 25 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, seeds, and miso. Pulse until everything is broken down. With the motor running, gradually stream in the oil and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and dollop with the pesto. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you don’t have pumpkin seeds, feel free to sub in pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds. To toast the seeds, place them in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until they’re fragrant, lightly browned, and making a slight crackling sound, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 197
- Carbohydrates: 9.3 g
- Fiber: 4.4 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
Keywords: eggplant, tomatoes, basil, pumpkin seeds, pesto