This recipe was created with Farmwall and celebrates microgreens and seasonal produce - two things we're both huge fans of! If you're curious to grow your own sunflower microgreens (they're delicious and buttery and a must try!), Farmwall has some fabulous growing kits and resources on their website.
2 large eggplants
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp of olive oil
400g of Wilderbean chickpea pasta
1 large bunch of parsley (can sub with basil when in season)
2 cups of packed kale
1 cup of sunflower micro-greens (can us kale alternatively)
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp of olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Approximately 1 hour in advance, slice your eggplants in half length ways and score the flesh without slicing all the way through the eggplant skin. Add a generous amount of salt to the scored surface of the eggplant and sit it to rest for 1 hour with the skin side down. If you don't have an hour, just leave them for the time you have. This step allows moisture to draw out of the eggplant, leading to a less soggy roast, but they'll still be delicious however long you leave them.
After an hour give them a rinse under cool water to get rid of any excess salt and then squeeze out the moisture in the eggplant.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and roast your sunflower seeds on a tray for approximately 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them while they're in the oven, you want to take them out when they're golden brown, and they can burn quickly if you leave them too long.
Crush your 3 cloves of garlic and combine with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Brush this mixture across the scored surface of the eggplants, and push the garlic pieces inside the cuts.
After your sunflower seeds are roasted put your eggplants into oven. They should take approximately 30 minutes to turn soft and golden.
To prepare the pesto combine parsley leaves (stems removed), kale leaves (thick stalks removed), sunflower microgreens, lemon, garlic, nutritional yeast, oil, salt, pepper and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Add the sunflower seeds last if you want them to stay a little chunky. Depending on your herbs, you may like to add some more water or oil to give your pesto a runnier consistency, or you can have it more firm like a paste.
Put your pasta on to cook for approximately 10 minutes at a gentle simmer. Taste the noodles around the 7 minute mark and every minute after until you get the chewiness that you like. Strain when done.
When your pasta and pesto are ready, combine in a bowl. Serve up with eggplant steak on the side and garnish with any more sunflower micro-greens you have growing!