- 1 aubergine
- 2 courgettes
- 1 red pepper
- 250g cocktail vine tomatoes
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- A large handful of basil
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground peper
Slice the top off your aubergine. Cut into 1cm (or thinner if you can) rounds. Do the same for your courgettes - trimming the tops, then cutting into thin rounds (or go for long panels, cutting the courgettes lengthwise -- up to you).
Get 1 or 2 of your largest frying pans smoking hot. Dust your aubergine and courgette slices with salt. Arrange them in the pan(s) in a single layer. No oil needed. You may have to cook in batches. Cook till charred on each side. Remove and set aside.
Cut your pepper into 1-2cm ribbons. Add them to the smoking hot pan with a pinch of salt. Again, cook till charred all over. Add to the other veg and cook your tomatoes (left whole) the same way. It's a lovely way to cook veg - giving it a smoky edge. It also takes out the excess water and concentrates the vegetables' natural sweetness.
Once all the veg is cooked, whip up your pesto. Lightly toast your pine nuts in the frying pan till just golden. Add to a blender or food processor. Peel your garlic and cut a 1cm slice. Add it to the pine nuts with the leaves from your basil (use the stalks in a stock), 4 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt. Whiz till it's all come together. Add more oil, if needed.
No food processor or blender? Finely chop your basil and muddle it with the pine nuts, garlic and salt in a bowl, using the base of a jam jar or cup to crush and mix everything together till you have a fragrant paste. Then trickle in the oil till its just right for you.
Drizzle the pesto over your charred veg and serve. Bellissimo!