living in california is pretty wonderful sometimes. it is november and the farmers market is still selling heirloom tomatoes and eggplants. i wanted to deepen the flavors of vegetables by roasting and wanted to make something that could be pretty versatile. while i was roasting the eggplant and tomatoes, i sauteed an onion and fried some capers. blending everything together into a thick “pesto” makes for a sauce that you can toss with hot pasta or other vegetables, spread on sandwiches or top a baked potato.
roasted eggplant and tomato pesto
several eggplants (i used the slender japanese eggplants to minimize any bitterness)
3 or 4 large tomatoes or several big handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tbsp capers drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or basil
sherry vinegar, red pepper flakes
chop the eggplant and tomatoes into largish chunks and toss with salt and pepper. roast in a 375-400 degrees oven until tender and golden brown. meanwhile saute the onion and garlic until soft and golden with red pepper flakes. add the capers and heat until they start to brown. stir in the tomato paste and herbs and set aside. after the vegetables are done roasting, combine everything in a blender and pulse until combined. the mixture will be very thick so add a bit of pasta water or stock to thin it out. pour back into the pan and heat, adjusting the seasonings if necessary with sherry vinegar and salt and pepper.