Aubergines with basil pesto crust recipe

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  • Vegetarian
serves: 2 - 4
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 10 min
Cooking: 30 min
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  • The spongey texture of aubergines (also known as eggplants in the U.S.) makes them wonderful for soaking up different flavours. Cook these as a starter for a Mediterranean-themed menu, or as an accompaniment to chicken or pork. Or have them on their own as a vegetarian main course. This dish is so easy to make and is a great choice for a dinner party, romantic meal for two, or as an everyday alternative to traditional starters. Simply cut into the aubergine and bake for 25mins, then make the pesto by blending the rest of the ingredients, spread it over the aubergines and grill!

    Like aubergine? You’re going to love our popular baked aubergine recipe!


    • 2 aubergines
    • A little olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • For the pesto
    • 100ml olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 3tbsp pine nuts
    • 3tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
    • Bunch of basil, leaves only
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Cut the stalks off the aubergines, and then slice them in half, vertically, through the middle.

    • Using a sharp knife, make criss-cross patterns to 1 cm deep into the aubergine flesh. Brush on the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    • Transfer to a foil-lined roasting or baking dish and bake in the oven for around 25 mins until the flesh is very soft and the surface is charred.

    • Make the pesto by putting all the ingredients except the cheese into a food processor and pulse until it becomes a thick, textured paste. Transfer to a bowl, and then mix in the cheese.

    • Spread the pesto mixture thickly over the aubergines. Turn the oven to grill mode and grill on a high heat for around 5-7 mins until the pesto bubbles.

    Top tip for making Aubergines with basil pesto crust

    Aubergines are incredibly versatile: they can be steamed, fried, baked, sauteed, boiled, microwaved, stir-fried or stuffed.

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