Farmer’s Market Recipe: Eggplant Pesto Bruschetta

This beautiful bruschetta uses roasted eggplant, garlic and pine nuts for a rich, robust flavor. An excellent appetizer for your 4th of July celebration!

Inspired by fresh local ingredients at the Covington Farmer’s Market.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, cut in 1 inch chunks with skin
1 12-inch loaf of baguette bread, sliced in 1 inch chunks
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp ea sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
Oregano, thyme & marjoram
6 large toes of garlic, peeled
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup fresh basil
2 tbs fresh parley
1 tbs fresh mint
Olive oil
1/2 pint of sweet heirloom tomatoes
Fresh shaved parmesan
Balsamic reduction

Note: will need a food processor

Instructions:

sweet-basil-plant-in-terra-cotta-pot

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle eggplant generously with salt and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepared two large baking pans by brushing with olive oil. Combine oregano, thyme, marjoram, minced garlic, salt and pepper with 4 – 6 tbs of olive oil. Rinse off eggplant and pat dry. Brush olive oil mix generously on bread and eggplant. Place both in separate pans. Sprinkle pine nuts & garlic cloves in with eggplant.

Bake the bread for 5 – 10 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack. Roast the eggplant for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until completely tender. Cool on a rack. Meanwhile puree the basil, parsley and mint into 3 – 4 tbs olive oil. Add cooled eggplant pan contents and puree into a paste consistency. More olive oil, salt or pepper may need to be added to taste.

Serve chilled over the cooled baguette bread with fresh chopped tomatoes and shaved parmesan topped by a sweet balsamic reduction drizzle. Enjoy!