This grilled eggplant with pecan pesto is deliciously satisfying for a summertime side dish or plant-based main!This post is sponsored by The American Pecan Council. Thanks for supporting the brands and organizations that make TFD possible! As always, opinions are my own.
If I had to pick one sauce to eat all summer long, it would have to be pesto. Light and refreshing, pesto goes well on just about everything: soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, fish, meat, vegetables, pizza, you name it. And with the abundance of produce that we have at our fingertips during summer, pesto is an easy way to use up excess herbs and greens. I love to make a big batch of pesto during the summer and freeze it in an ice cube tray so that I can pop ‘em out whenever I need ‘em.
Most people are familiar with basil pesto made with pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil but you can really make pesto with just about any herb/green, any nut, cheese or oil! It’s totally customizable based on what you have on hand.For today’s recipe, I used toasted pecans as the nut base for my pesto. If you’re thinking PECANS in PESTO?, you’re not alone. Most people associate pecans with the holidays and a good ol’ slice of pecan pie. But pecans are much more versatile than you may think. Their rich, buttery flavor and crisp texture makes them an ideal ingredient to add to salads, snacks, whole grains and vegetables. Not to mention their nutrition benefits – pecans are full of flavonoids, the same beneficial plant compounds found in superfruits. They’re also a good source of monounsaturated (heart-healthy) fats and satiating fiber. So it’s no surprise that research shows that eating a serving of pecans each day may help reduce your risk of heart disease.This pecan pesto is perfect on grilled eggplant – the eggplant is smoky and meaty and then the pesto provides a bright, fresh flavor to round it out. The toasted pecans on top provide a nice nutty flavor and satisfying texture. I’ve already used this pesto on top of salads, fish, and this morning I put a little over my eggs for breakfast – SO good. I can’t wait to use it on the rest of my CSA veggies this summer.
This recipe can easily be made on an outdoor grill or on a grill pan so don’t fret if you’re sans backyard grill. I’ll be bringing this recipe to a potluck networking dinner this week and can’t wait to share it with some of my colleagues. Enjoy this recipe at your next summer cookout as a side dish or a plant-based main. Oh, and the leftovers are delicious on top of fresh mixed greens with a little extra pesto!
Ingredients Instructions Notes Note: To toast pecans, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes, or until aromatic.
Note: To toast pecans, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes, or until aromatic.
For more eggplant dishes, check out my recipes below!