Grilled Eggplant Salad

This is one of those dishes that evolves when you look in the fridge and can’t figure out what to cook tonight! It turned out so good and it literally took less than 20 min!

  • 2 small eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 package grilling cheese
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive
  • Pesto
  • Preheat grill on high. Brush or spray eggplant with olive and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill eggplant and cheese for 5 min per side or until nicely charred and softened.
  • Layer eggplant, cheese, tomato and repeat. Top with sliced olives, pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Serves 2.
  • Advertisement

    White Bean Salad with Arugula Pesto

    This is a dinner salad – the beans really make it filling without feeling stuffed. You need preserved lemon so make sure you have it before you start this recipe.

    • 8 c arugula
    • 1/2 c pine nuts
    • 1/4 c grated parmigiano
    • 1/2 preserved lemon, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/3 c olive oil
    • 2 – 15 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
    • Pepper
    • 1 shallot, sliced thin

    In a food processor, combine 2 c packed arugula, nuts, cheese, lemon, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Process until finely chopped. Add oil with the motor running.

    Warm the beans for 2 – 3 minutes. Toss with 1/4 of the pesto, add more if needed to coat the beans.

    Toss the remaining arugula with 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Divide arugula among plates, top with beans.

    Serves 4.

    Pressure Cooker Barley Risotto with Asparagus

    This is a quick side when you cook it in the pressure cooker. Perfect paired with rack of lamb. To make it even quicker use a good store bought pesto.

    7 c vegetable broth
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 onion, minced
    1 1/2 c barley
    1/2 c dry white wine
    1/2 c ricotta salata
    1/2 lb asparagus
    1/2 c pesto sauce

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 2 min and move to an ice bath. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

    In a multicooker on medium sauté, add onions and cook until soft. Add barley and garlic, stir to coat. Add wine and stir till absorbed. 

    Close lid and cook on Risotto mode for 6 minutes. (High pressure for 6 min).

    Stir in asparagus, pesto, cheese and pepper. 

    Serves 4 – 6.

    Pesto Pizza

    This pizza is so good! Pesto, pine nuts and lots of cheese. I did not measure when I made this – so this is rough feel free to adjust.

    1 pizza dough
    1/4 c pesto
    1/4 c ricotta
    1 ball mozzeralla, sliced
    Olive oil
    Pine nuts

    Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone or steal inside.

    Roll out dough. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place sliced mozzarella with space between slices on dough. Place TBSP scoops of ricotta between the mozz slices. Drizzle with pesto. 

    Bake for 8 – 10 min u ok cheese is melted and crust is brown.

    Top with pine nuts.

    Shrimp with Pea Pesto

     This is a quick weeknight meal inspired by F&W. Fresh peas are required for this dish, so do seek them out. I cooked up some orzo that I tossed it with the extra pesto to compete the meal.

    1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
    2 c shelled fresh peas
    3/4 c parmigiano, grated
    2 cloves garlic, green germ removed
    1 TBSP lemon juice
    1/4 c olive oil, plus extra for cooking the shrimp
    Salt and pepper
    1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

    In a food processor or blender combine peas, cheese, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

    In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Cook shrimp anout 2 minites per side until opaque and cooked through.

    Serve shrimp with pesto and a little parmigiano cheese.

    Serves 2 – 4.

    Pasta with Goat Cheese Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

    24 cherry tomatoes
    1 TBSP olive oil
    Salt and pepper

    12 oz Pasta

    1 c basil leaves
    2 cloves garlic
    1/2 c parmigiano, grated
    1/4 c pine nuts
    Salt and pepper
    1/3 c olive oil
    4 oz goat cheese

    Preheat oven to 375. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes

    Cook pasta according to package.

    Combine basil, garlic, cheese, nuts and oil in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

    Toss pasta with pesto and tomatoes and serve.

    Serves 4.

    Asparagus Pesto


    This makes a double batch, one for now and one for the freezer. I did not
    Have pine nuts so I used toasted almonds.

    1 lb pasta
    1/2 c basil
    1 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
    1/4 c pine nuts or almonds
    3 garlic cloves
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 c olive oil
    1/2 c Parmigiano-Reggiano
    1/2 c toasted bread crumbs
    4 oz pancetta, diced, cooked crisp & drained

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 3 minutes. Use a slotted spot and transfer to a blender. Add pasta to the water and cook according to package.

    Add basil, nuts, salt, garlic, oil and parmigiano to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour half in a container for future use. Toss the remaining with the pasta, top with bread crumbs and pancetta.

    Kale Pesto


    This is the brightest green pesto ever!! Perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner. I used baby kale, regular kale will work fine too. I added a little crispy pancetta on top.

    3 c baby kale
    1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
    1/4 c olive oil
    1/4 c pine nuts
    4 cloves garlic
    1 tsp salt

    Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor, pulse until smooth.

    Toss with pasta, top with a little cheese and pine nuts.

    Serves 6.

    Rustic Tomato Tart


    I love a rustic French tart! This one sings of summer. Mine may not be pretty but it was awful tasty.

    Olive oil
    2 lb tomatoes, halved
    Salt and pepper
    Herbs de Provence
    1/4 pesto
    6 oz goat cheese

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch pie pan with olive oil.

    Arrange tomatoes in pan, skin side down, crowd them as much as possible. Sprinkle with herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Spray with olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes, until softened. Remove from oven.

    Prepare puffed pastry according to package. Roll out to an 11 inch circle, prick with a fork all over. Spread pesto on the pastry.

    Cut goat cheese into 1/3 inch slices and place on tomatoes. Place the puff pastry onto of the tomatoes, pesto side down. Tuck into sides. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until golden.

    Let cool a few minutes then flip onto a plate. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve.

    Serves 4.