Pesto-Crusted Chicken with Eggplant
- 1 rimmed baking sheet
- Food processor or blender
- 1 large eggplant (about 2 pounds)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup basil leaves (loosely packed)
- 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts (or chopped walnuts)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- several sprigs fresh parsley (for garnish)
- Adjust oven rack to top position and turn broiler to high. Trim and slice the eggplant into 1-inch rounds and put them on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Drizzle the eggplant with 4 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil, turning once or twice and brushing with more oil if it looks dry, until nicely browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes total.
- In a food processor or blender put basil, garlic-infused olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan, and a sprinkle of pepper. Pulse, adding oil if necessary, until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets for each breast. Press down on each with the heel of your hand to flatten.
- When the eggplant is done, transfer it to a platter. Put the chicken on the baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle with pepper. Broil until the top is lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Strip the parsley leaves from several sprigs and chop.
- When the cutlets are browned, flip them and carefully spread a layer of pesto of the top of each. Continue broiling until the pesto becomes slightly crusty and the chicken cooks through, another 2 to 5 minutes.
- Put the chicken on top of the eggplant, garnish with the parsley and a drizzle of oil if you like and serve.