What we love most about baby eggplant is that it’s sweet, and the skins are edible, making it delicious, and easy! No peeling, or salting, necessary. For this recipe sure to pick up your herbs from Guinea Hen Garden, in the Genesis Alleyway. Sheep yogurt or feta from Highland Dairy or crumbled goat cheese from Amazing Acres also makes a knock-out accompaniment.

Crostini With Eggplant and Pine Nut Puree

Recipe adapted from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors

Makes 20 appetizer servings

1 pound baby or Japanese eggplant, or a little more
Olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 garlic clove, peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped mint, optional
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus basil leaves for garnish
20 slices toasted baguette or crackers

Preheat broiler. Score baby eggplant, and if you’d like, stick some extra slivered raw garlic in those slits. Brush lightly with oil, set them on a sheet pan and broil about 6 inches from the heat until they are golden, 5 to 10 minutes (varies depending on size).

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over low heat until golden or, if you’re using walnuts, toast them in a 350-degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes. In food processor, pulse the garlic and pine nuts with 1/2 teaspoon salt until the mixture is slightly smooth. Add roasted eggplant to pine-nut mixture and puree until it’s almost smooth. Add a little lemon juice, taste for salt, season with pepper and stir in mint, parsley and basil.

Spread puree on toast or crackers, garnish with a basil leaf and serve.

Per serving: 92 calories (10 percent from fat ), 1 g fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 220 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber.

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