Any recipe for eggplant which does not require a gallon of olive oil to make tender is a success as far as I am concerned. Now add a bit of cheese and some fresh pesto and you have this recipe which feels way more complicated and indulgent than it is.
Serve it family style along with your favorite spaghetti recipe and a bottle of nebbiolo for the adults.
Baked Pesto Eggplant(serves 4)
Turn your oven on to 375F. Trim the root ends off the eggplants. Slice each eggplant in quarters lengthwise. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl the pan, when it smokes add the eggplant flesh side down. Cook the eggplant for 3-5 minutes on each side (or until soft and browned) including the skin side.
Transfer to a large casserole and arrange the eggplant flesh side up, sprinkling lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggplant. Dilute the pesto with a few tablespoons of water and pour over top of the eggplant. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until soft and bubbly.