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Grilled Eggplant with Pecan Pesto

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This grilled eggplant with pecan pesto is deliciously satisfying for a summertime side dish or plant-based main!



For the eggplant:

  • 4 small-medium eggplant , cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans , toasted
  • Optional: microgreens for garnish

For the pecan pesto:

  • 2 cups packed basil
  • ½ cup pecans , toasted
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest (approx. from one lemon)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the eggplant:

  1. Generously salt the eggplant and place eggplant into a colander over a bowl or over the sink. Let sit and drain for one hour. Rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.
  2. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Place eggplant slices on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  4. Spread pesto on top of eggplant and top with chopped pecans and optional microgreen garnish.

For the pecan pesto:

  1. Add the basil, pecans, cheese, garlic and lemon zest to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. 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.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: grilling
  • Cuisine: mediterannean

Keywords: eggplant, grilled, pesto, pecan