Grilled eggplant with spicy tahini and pesto

Grilled eggplant shines with a drizzle of spicy tahini and basil pesto. This dish is perfect for weeknights when you need something to eat quickly, but don't want to make boxed mac and cheese once again. 

Grilled eggplant with spicy tahini and pesto

I used to hate eggplant, but I've since grown to really like it. It's a little tricky vegetable actually. Eggplant is a bit like a sponge, it absorbs olive oil with crazy speed and can sauté kind of wonky due to its water content. However grilling is a great way to avoid this!

I like grilled eggplant with some sort of sauce because it can be bland otherwise. For this recipe I made two of them, a spicy tahini and a fresh basil pesto.

Tahini is like sesame butter, it's crazy rich and you only need a little bit to make an impact in this dish. Adding some water and lemon to tahini makes it perfectly drizzly too! And pesto needs no introduction. It adds some freshness and color to this dish. The recipe is below!

Grilled eggplant with spicy tahini and pesto

  • 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced

  • Fresh basil, chopped for garnish

For the spicy tahini:

  • 3 tablespoons tahini

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the pesto:

  • 1 packed cup fresh basil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup pistachios

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Heat your grill pan (or grill!) on medium heat. Brush olive oil on the pan to grease it up a bit. Add the eggplant, grilling until soft with grill marks. Remove the eggplant from the grill and set them aside after sprinkling the eggplant with salt.

Prepare the spicy tahini sauce by combining the tahini, water, hot sauce and lemon juice. 

To make the pesto, blitz together the basil, lemon juice and pistachios in a food processor. While the food processor is on, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until it comes together.

To serve, drizzle both sauces over the eggplant and top with some fresh basil. Enjoy.