Not only is this garlic and basic roasted eggplant full of amazing flavor and packed full of nutrients, but it makes your kitchen smell wonderful as it’s cooking!
The secret I’ve discovered, that helps with roasting using fresh basil and garlic, is to avoid burning or overcooking of these two ingredients for the best flavor. Instead of creating a topping for the eggplant, you simply stuff the minced garlic and basil leaves down into slits in the eggplant flesh where it’s safe from direct heat and the flavors permeate the entire dish.
Eggplant Health Benefits
The humble eggplant is packed full of health benefits, according to Organic Facts, including:
…an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce symptoms of anemia, increase cognitive function, improve cardiovascular health, protect the digestive system, help lose weight, manage diabetes, reduce stress, protect infants from birth defects, and even prevent cancer.
Eggplant is also hailed as a brain food, due to it containing a phytonutrient which protects the fats in brain cell membranes from free radical damage. This phytonutrient, called nasunin, is contained in the eggplant skin so be sure to eat this part of the vegetable!
Garlic & Basil Roasted Eggplant
1 small package of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn or chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsps red pepper pesto
Drizzles of high heat safe oil
Sea salt and pepper (optional)
Wash the outside of the eggplants thoroughly and slice down the middle of the vegetable lengthways, cutting off the stem and leafy part at the top. Lay into a lightly oiled baking pan.
Cut deep slits into the flesh in a checkerboard pattern. Take your minced garlic and basil leaves and stuff them down into the slits, trying to include some filling in each part.
Spread red pepper pesto over the top of the eggplant and drizzle with the oil.
Add sea salt and pepper if desired.
Roast in the oven at 180F for about a half hour or until the flesh is soft.