Roast Eggplant, Parsley Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Wheat Berries

I’ve had my eye on a recipe for Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Farro, Parsley, and in Sunday Suppers at Lucqes for a while now, but every time it comes down to it, I’m just too busy to put together the multi-day recipe. Instead, I used the flavors of that dish and a little inspiration from Tender to put together this quicker, vegetarian version. Eggplant gets roasted with a chile-garlic oil, then added to nutty wheat berries, parsley pesto, and a bit of whipped goat cheese. It’s balanced in both flavor and texture, and makes an interesting and healthy vegetarian main course. Feel free to play around with the components – would feta be a better counterpart, or perhaps a traditional basil pesto? Should the wheat berries be dressed in a chile-paste to amplify the heat?

Garden: Roast Eggplant, Pesto, Whipped Goat Cheese, Wheat Berries,
Garden: Roast Eggplant, Pesto, Whipped Goat Cheese, Wheat Berries,

Garden: Roast Eggplant, Pesto, Whipped Goat Cheese, Wheat Berries,

Roast Eggplant, Parsley Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Wheat Berries

Serves 3-4.

  • 2 large globe eggplants
  • 1/3 c. + 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp harissa or chile powder (may need more or less depending on the heat level of your chile powder_
  • sea salt
  • 2 c. uncooked wheat berries, cooked according to these directions
  • 3 c. fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts or walnuts
  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  1. Wash and dry the eggplants, then slice into 1 inch thick rounds.  Salt both sides and set on a baking pan for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  In a food processor, blend 6 cloves of the garlic, 1/3 c. oil, and harissa until a smooth paste is formed.  Use a paper towel to wipe salt and liquid from the eggplant slices, then cut the slices into 1 inch cubes.  Brush the eggplant with the chile-garlic oil, coating all pieces, then sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 40 minutes, stirring eggplant pieces about half way through.
  3. Cook your wheat berries while the eggplant is roasting according to directions in link.
  4. Make the pesto: In a food processor, blend 1/4 c. olive oil, remaining 1 clove garlic, and nuts to form a paste.  Add parsley and blend until fully combined.  Taste and season with salt if desired.
  5. Place the goat cheese in a bowl and use a whisk or fork to break it up.  Add the heavy cream, and whisk together until a smooth, thick cream is formed.
  6. Place a scoop of wheat berries in each bowl.  Top with a few spoonfuls of pesto, a scoop of roast eggplant, and a dollop of whipped goat cheese.  Serve hot.

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