This is a delicious and satisfying meal of pureed roasted eggplant with sundried tomatoes, basil, and crunchy roasted almonds. Toss this pesto with a healthy whole grain pasta... and don't forget the bread to mop up any left overs. You won't want to leave even the smallest amount of this sauce behind!
Eggplant & Sundried Tomato Pesto with Almonds
(Adapted from Veggie Num.Num)
2 pounds eggplant
coarse sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup raw almonds
1 (7-8 oz) jar sundried tomatoes in oil
1 handful fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound whole wheat pasta, prepared
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Lay them in a colander, sprinkling salt between all the layers. Let them rest in the colander for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats. When finished, pat them dry.
2. Brush two large sheet pans with olive oil. Lay the eggplant on the sheet pans and brush them with more olive oil. Roast them for about 30 minutes, until the eggplants are softened. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
3. Roast the almonds in a dry skillet, stirring frequently, until they become lightly toasted and fragrant. Be careful you don't burn them.
4. In a food processor, blend the sundried tomatoes (along with the oil from the jar), basil, sugar, and the almonds into a paste. Place in a bowl and set aside.
5. Remove some of the eggplant skin and place the eggplant meat in the food processor. Blend until it is a thick and chunky mixture. Stir this into the tomato mixture.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.