Not quite a pesto, nor tapenade, nor hummus, this recipe takes elements of each and introduces a new cast of ingredients. Roasted kale and eggplant star, united by a process that renders one crisp, the other soft. The textural juxtaposition is balanced as the two are pureed together and infused with garlic and Italian herbs. Pistachios contribute a subtle nuttiness with balsamic vinegar adding a note of sweetness to round out the complexity of flavors in this Mediterranean-inspired spread.
A recipe that is easy to tweak according to personal taste, it is delicious at room temperature served with toasted rustic bread as a crostini, as a sauce for pasta or to top grilled meat / poultry. - alasully —alasully
Test Kitchen Notes
This fun summer dip is a nice alternative to hummus or babaganoush. The crispy kale and pistachios give the finish a nice texture and the balsamic adds a lovely touch of acidity. Grab the pita chips and dig in! - thehappycook —Victoria Ross
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- Makes 2 cups
balsamic vinegar (plus additional for drizzling)
olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
dried Italian herbs (basil, thyme oregano)
freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel garlic cloves and set aside.
- Peel eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch slices lengthwise. Lay them in a pan, sprinkle both sides with sea salt and allow to sweat for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash about 4 cups of kale, pat dry with a towel and remove tough stems. Toss kale with olive oil and place in an oven-safe pan. Roast for 5 minutes, check and turn with tongs. Continue roasting for an additional 5 minutes until browned and slightly crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
- After eggplant has rested, squeeze pieces between a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Cut into smaller pieces and combine with garlic cloves in a roasting pan (you can transfer the kale to a plate and reuse that pan for convenience). Drizzle eggplant and garlic with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and generous sprinkle with dried Italian spices of your choice (basil, thyme, oregano).
- Roast eggplant and garlic mixture for about 30 minutes, checking and stirring after 15. Eggplant should be very tender and browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a food processor, pulse together roasted kale, eggplant and garlic with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley and 1/4 cup roasted pistachios. Consistency should be smooth but not lacking texture.
- Taste and tweak seasonings to your liking. Best served at room temperature atop a toasted crostini round.