Tortino di Melanzane col Pesto di Olive

Fried Eggplant Slices Layered with a Pesto of Green Olives and Capers

Preparation info

  • For


    or more Persons, Depending upon whether it is Served as an Appetizer
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Marcella's Italian Kitchen

Marcella's Italian Kitchen

By Marcella Hazan

Published 1986

  • About

Eggplant is a marvelous mixer, maintaining its own identity while blending agreeably into almost any company. Here, layers of sweet fried eggplant are spread with a faintly tart, piquant coating with which they briefly macerate. Once fried, the dish is easily assembled.


  • About 2 pounds medium eggplants
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 extra large hard-boiled egg
  • 6 or 7 green olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper in a grinder


  1. Peel the eggplants and cut them lengthwise into slices about ¼ inch thick. Spread them along the inside of a large colander set over a bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Allow to stand for at least 1 hour to permit as much of their bitter liquid as possible to drain away. After 1 hour or more, remove the eggplant slices from the colander and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
  2. Put enough vegetable oil in a skillet to come inch up the side of the pan and turn on the heat to high. When the oil is hot, slip in as many eggplant slices as will fit without crowding. Fry them until they become colored a rich gold on both sides, but do not turn them over too often as they fry. When done, transfer them to a platter lined with paper towels to blot, and continue slipping more slices into the pan and frying them until all the eggplant is done. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Shell the hard-boiled egg and chop it briefly in a food processor or blender. Add the pitted olives, capers, parsley, vinegar, oil, and several grindings of pepper. Do not chop too fine: the mixture should not be creamy but slightly chewy, composed of tiny bits bound by the pureed egg.
  4. Line the bottom of a serving dish with a layer of cold fried eggplant. Spread over it a thin layer of the olive and capers mixture. Cover with another layer of eggplant topped with more mixture, and proceed thus until you have used up both eggplant and mixture. Serve at room temperature.