Smoked Eggplant with Sundried Tomato Pesto

2 large eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 to 4 buffalo mozzarella balls, thinly sliced
sundried tomato pesto
1 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes, drained
2 large minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons roasted pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in blender and mix to rough puree. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cut eggplant into 1-inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt, place in colander and let sit for 30 minutes. Pat dry. Mix olive oil, basil, garlic powder, and pepper. Lightly brush eggplant on both sides with mixture.

Smoke-cook at 175F for 1 hour per pound using apple wood.

Remove eggplant from smoker. Top with a layer of Sundried Tomato Pesto and several slices of mozzarella.

Place under broiler for 1 - 2 minutes until cheese melts slightly and bubbling.

Yield: 1 to 2 slices for appetizers—3 to 4 as main course

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