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Roasted Eggplant & Almond Vegan Pesto w/ Sundried Tomatoes and Sumac

February 15, 2012

Roasted Eggplant & Almond Pesto

Hi everyone! Gee, you don’t know how great it feels to be sharing this recipe with you all today. It’s been a little while between posts, but now that Lu is home and we’ve settled in as a happy family, I hope to be sharing far more frequently.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the way this vegan pesto recipe turned out. Smoky roasted eggplant combined with almonds, herbs, sundried tomatoes and a hint of beautiful sumac creates one super delicious and versatile dish. The texture and flavour of this recipe will please even those who are a little dubious about eating eggplant, I promise!

We ate the vegan pesto as an amazing vegetarian pasta and also enjoyed a little on a toasted baguette as an alternative to traditional bruschetta. Toss the eggplant pesto through thick pasta like fettuccine or tagliatelle for a truly beautiful pasta dish perfect to share with friends and family (for a vegan version be sure to choose an egg free pasta alternative). Or try topping toasted ciabatta generously with the chunky vegan pesto for a great snack, appetizer or starter when entertaining.

And I’d just like to thank those who has commented and emailed recently. I have not had a chance to respond to you all so please know that I send a heart felt thank you for your kind words!!

Thanks for your continued support Veggie num nummers!! You seriously rock!!

Roasted Eggplant & Almond Pesto

Roasted Eggplant & Almond Pesto w/ Sundried Tomatoes and Sumac

Preparation time: 50mins

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  • 1kg (2lb) eggplant (approx. 2 large ones)
  • coarsely ground rock salt
  • best quality olive oil
  • 200g (7oz) raw almonds
  • 200g (7oz) jar of good quality sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • ½ cup sultanas (raisins)
  • 1 good handful of fresh herbs (mint, basil & parsley)
  • 1 tbs sumac

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F

While the oven heats slice the eggplants lengthways approximately 1.5cm/½ inch thick. Layer in a colander, sprinkling salt between the layers. Once the eggplant slices begin to sweat, around 10-20 minutes, remove from the colander and pat dry on a clean tea towel.

Brush two large baking trays with olive oil. Arrange the slices of eggplant on the trays and brush with more olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until soft and golden. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile dry roast the almonds over a low heat in a pan, remove and set aside to cool.

Using a food processor blend the sundried tomatoes with their oil and sultans to a coarse paste, transfer to a large bowl. Using the same food processor blend the almonds coarsely and add the to sundried tomato mixture.

Add the cooled roasted eggplant to the food processor and blend to a thick, chunky pulp and transfer to the bowl with the almonds and sundried tomatoes.

Add the roughly chopped herbs and sumac, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine well.

This pesto can be served either as a pasta or bruschetta topper, simply follow the recipes below…

Roasted Eggplant & Almond Pesto

Roasted Eggplant & Almond Pesto Pasta

Preparation time: 20mins (+ pesto preparation) // Serves 4-6

  • 250g thick pasta like fettuccine & tagliatelle or an egg free alternative
  • roasted eggplant & almond pesto as prepared above
  • 4 tbs best quality olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 cup of feta cheese (optional)

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a large frying pan. Over a medium/low heat cook the garlic for a minute until fragrant.

Add the cooked pasta, tossing with the oil and then the prepared pesto. Toss the pasta to coat evenly with the pesto mixture and until thoroughly heated through.

Toss through the lemon zest and lemon juice to taste.

Before serving drizzle with the extra olive oil and toss through feta if using.

Serve sprinkled with a little sumac if desired. A beautiful vegetarian recipe full of robust flavour and earthy colours!!

Roasted Eggplant & Almond Bruschetta

Preparation time: 20mins (+ pesto preparation) // Serves 8-10

  • roasted eggplant & almond pesto as prepared above
  • 1 ciabatta loaf or baguette, sliced thickly
  • 1 garlic clove
  • best quality olive oil to drizzle
  • few fresh herbs leaves (basil or mint)
  • sumac to sprinkle

Toast or grill the ciabatta slices until golden. Slice the garlic clove in half and rub the cut side over the toasted slices of ciabatta. Spoon a generous helping of pesto onto each slice, drizzle with olive oil, top with herbs and a dusting of sumac.

Great as a snack, starter or appetizer, enjoy!!

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  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen February 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    awww so good to see Lu. Cute cute cute! And fab recipe. I love eggplants!

  • Kat February 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I love the sound of this – and my new favourite spice makes an appearance! Sumac rocks. Would this pesto freeze effectively, or wouldn’t that work?

  • Erin @ she cooks, she gardens February 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Ah, welcome back! Loving your riff on a classic pesto, I will definitely give this a shot as I’ve got a bowl full of them at the mooment and a bush with more ripening as speak. Congrats on your little bundle of joy too, she is adorable.

  • Beth Cregan February 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    This will be tested and enjoyed over the weekend – I’ve missed your recipes. Your lemon oat slice is still the most requested lunchbox treat by my two girls. Lu is so beautiful! Congratulations

  • Marta @ I love breakfasts! February 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Lu is beautiful! And you definitely deserve support with such an amazing recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  • SS February 16, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Welcome back! I def missed your postings. Looking forward to seeing what else you have in store. And your baby is beautiful…congrats on motherhood :0)

  • Eva February 16, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Sumac is one of my favorite spices, and I love the idea of adding it to a sun dried tomato pesto! I think I’m about to put that eggplant in my fridge to good use in this recipe. Thanks!

  • Alice February 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Oh yum, always so happy to see another eggplant recipe! And congratulations on your beautiful little girl :)

  • Sarah February 17, 2012 at 8:25 am

    What a great combination of flavors. I love pasta, but always find myself going back to my same few recipes. Will have to try this out. Thanks!

  • chow vegan February 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    So nice to see you back and with such a yummy looking recipe! and little Lu is so cute, so happy that you’re all home now! :-)

  • Jennifer (Delicieux) February 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Awww Lu is SO gorgeous!!!! So wonderful to see you back at Veggie Num Num Trudy.

    I love your gorgeous pesto recipe. I’m not really a fan of eggplant but I am sure I would love this as it looks so good.

  • Corina February 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    What a gorgeous little girl! I love your eggplant pesto, but then I’m a real eggplant fan. Unfortunately my husband isn’t – I’ll just have to wait until I’m on maternity leave and then I can make all the things he doesn’t like for myself for lunch – until the baby arrives! Hope everything’s going well.

  • Joana February 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    So glad you’re back Trudy! And Lu is just so adorable! On the recipe front, this pesto has such a unique combination of flavors (love the addition of raisins), I’m sure I’ll give it a try soon.

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num February 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Hello!! Thanks for the beautiful comments everyone, I’m glad to be back too :)

  • Erin @ she cooks, she gardens March 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Just stopped back to say that I’m eating this for lunch today and it is amazing. Such an inspired mix of flavours. I’ve definitely found a use for my glut of eggplants.xx

  • Chelle Woodbridge June 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    YUMMMM! Can’t wait to try this one. You know how much I love eggplant!

  • Chelle Woodbridge July 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Loved it! Yummo! Used the left overs as pizza base and also put some in my mashed potatoes.

  • Jan July 21, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I have just discovered your web-site – I have a Vegan student staying here for a few months, and was really feeling overwhelmed about how to cater for her. I have tried a number of your recipes, each one was very easy, and each one has received very high praise. This pesto recipe is inspired, and will now be a staple. You seem to have a true genius for creating tasty veggie recipes that even carnivores swoon over! You are now firmly in my favorites. Congratulations.