Yield:> 1 3/4 cups.
1 pound eggplant>
1/3 cup pine nuts>
1 clove garlic, peeled>
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).