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Crostini With Roasted Eggplant And Pine Nut Puree

Crostini With Roasted Eggplant And Pine Nut Puree

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Yield:> 1 3/4 cups.

1 pound eggplant>

Olive oil>

1/3 cup pine nuts>

1 clove garlic, peeled>

Sea salt>

Fresh lemon juice>

Freshly ground black pepper>

1 tablespoon chopped mint, >optional>

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf >parsley>

2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus >basil leaves for garnish>

20 slices toasted baguette or >crackers>

Preheat the broiler. Peel eggplant; slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Brush both sides of each slice lightly with oil, arrange on a sheet pan and broil about 6 inches from the heat until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn eggplant slices; brown on the other side. Remove from broiler; stack eggplant slices so that they'll steam and finish cooking.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant and golden. In a food processor, pulse garlic and pine nuts with 1/2 teaspoon salt until mixture is chunky. Coarsely chop eggplant; add to the food processor. Process until almost smooth. Add a little lemon juice to sharpen the flavors and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in mint, parsley and chopped basil. Spread on toasted bread or crackers, garnish with a basil leaf and serve as an appetizer.

Per serving:> 92 calories; 1g fat (10 percent calories from fat); no saturated fat; no cholesterol; 3g protein; 18g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 220mg sodium.

Adapted from "Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers Markets," by Deborah Madison (Broadway, $39.95).

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