This recipe is from Ottolenghi, and while it has a number of steps (hello Ottolenghi), it is so very good. And, the lemon paste is a great keeper, so you can make it and use it in a number of other dishes.
We have made this a few times of late and it has been loved by everyone.
13⁄4 tbsp Quick Lemon Paste - see below
20 g pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
2 lbs large Italian eggplants (about 3 eggplants), trimmed and cut into 1-inch- thick rounds
10 tbsp olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
10 g dill, roughly chopped
5 g parsley, roughly chopped
10 g basil leaves, roughly chopped
11⁄2 tsp maple syrup
Make the Quick Lemon Paste (see below).
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly toast the pistachios for about 6 minutes. Set aside. Note, these can be toasted on the stove, or just use our sprouted pistachios, and no toasting needed.
Change the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F. Note, the eggplants can be grilled on the BBQ.
In a large bowl, toss the eggplants with 4 tablespoons of oil, 3⁄4 teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper. Spread the eggplants out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray and roast, turning over halfway, until deeply golden and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the dill, parsley, basil, Quick Lemon Paste, maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil. Add the cooled egg- plant and toss until well coated.
Arrange the eggplant on a plate and top with the chopped pistachios.
QUICK LEMON PASTE
1 large lemon, end trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thin rounds, seeds removed
4 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Simmer until salt is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes, then lower the heat to medium-low.
Cover and cook until the lemon rinds start to look translucent, about 12 minutes.
Set aside to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth and thick. Add a tablespoon of water if you need to thin out the mixture; the result should be spreadable paste.
Transfer the preserved lemon paste to an airtight container and, if not using immediately, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.