Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Professor T

Professor T (UK)

Start watching
SoCal Update

SoCal Update

Start watching
Us

Us

Start watching
The Latino Experience

The Latino Experience

Start watching
Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
Line of Separation Key Art.

Line of Separation

Start watching
Artbound

Artbound

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
Independent Lens

Independent Lens

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Spicy Lemon Basil Pesto

Support Provided By
Grilled Eggplant with Spicy Lemon Basil Pesto

Take a look around Southern California's gardens, farmers' markets, and Asian grocery stores and you'll see that eggplants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. This recipe features the Filipino "finger" eggplant, a slender little eggplant harvested around 3 to 6 inches long. These tender fruits grill up in a couple minutes and make a great side dish served with a spicy, Southeast Asian-inspired lemon basil pesto.

If you don't have access to these particular eggplants, feel free to try another variety from China, Japan, Korea, or elsewhere. Larger eggplants may be cut into wedges for easy grilling.

Grilled Eggplant with Spicy Lemon Basil Pesto
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh lemon basil leaves (or Thai basil)
1/2 cup (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons palm sugar (or brown or granulated sugar)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (can substitute fish sauce)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 pound finger or Asian eggplants
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped dry roasted peanuts

Combine the basil, parsley, garlic, peanuts, sugar, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, rice vinegar, water, and soy sauce in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste and blend in a little more water if a thinner consistency is desired. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 1 day).

Heat the grapeseed oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside to drain (the shallots will crisp up as they cool). Reserve the leftover shallot oil for grilling the eggplants. (Fried shallots are best fresh, but they can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Shallot oil can be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 week.)

Prepare an outdoor grill or a grill pan over moderate heat.

If using finger eggplants, halve them lengthwise. If using larger eggplants, cut them into 1-inch wedges. Brush the eggplants on all sides with the shallot oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplants, turning once or twice, until slightly charred and tender when pierced with a knife. Transfer to a platter.

Spoon some of the pesto over the eggplants and garnish with fried shallots and chopped peanuts. Serve with extra pesto in a bowl on the side. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Support Provided By
Read More
Redwood trees at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Where to Find Majestic Redwoods in SoCal

Here are six fantastic places where you can enjoy the monumental grandeur of redwood trees in Southern California — from the Central Coast to North Orange County and beyond.
A light structure similar to scaffolds were used in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

How the Gleeful Aesthetic of L.A.’s 1984 Olympics Unified a Sprawling City

In 1984, Los Angeles exuded Olympic psychedelia, a gleeful '80s aesthetic which underlined the complementary power of sport, culture and art. It would also revitalize a bedraggled Olympic movement.
Nat King Cole And John F. Kennedy greet an African American debutante.

How African American Debutantes Shaped a New Vision of Black Womanhood

The history of the young Black "deb" illuminates African American women's history and the complexity of racial representation. Theirs is a story of challenging institutionalized stereotypes that limit the role and potential of Black girls.