Have you ever thought to include eggplant in your pasta salad? This flavorful dish marries this chewy veggie with plenty of pesto, and don’t forget the feta!
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Toss the eggplant with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper; spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the eggplant is slightly tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and olives to the baking sheet, and bake until the tomatoes begin to burst and the eggplant is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Process the 1/2 cup olive oil, almonds, capers, and garlic in a blender until smooth. Add the basil, oregano, and parsley; process just until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions; drain. Toss the hot cooked pasta with the roasted vegetables, pesto mixture, and feta. Sprinkle with the basil leaves and serve.
Cooking Tip: you don’t have to, but you can sweat the eggplant to release extra water: Slice the eggplant and lay slices on a wire rack. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Pat dry and go to Step 1.
Excerpted from Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.