Grilled Ratatouille with Herb Pesto
Makes about 3 quarts
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2½ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • 5 ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick rings
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, quartered
  1. Place eggplant slices on several layers of paper towels; sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt all over slices. Let stand for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together basil, parsley, garlic, ½ cup olive oil, pine nuts, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper until mixture is almost smooth, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reserve pesto in a small bowl.
  3. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, bell pepper, remaining ¼ cup oil, remaining 3 teaspoons salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper until well combined.
  4. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill vegetables in batches until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together warm vegetables and desired amount of pesto. Serve immediately. Refrigerate remaining pesto in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Salting the eggplant helps remove any bitterness. Toss hot cooked pasta or rice with leftover pesto, or serve it with crusty bread for dipping.
Recipe by Southern Cast Iron at