Eggplant Chips with Cilantro Pesto

This years Summer Fest is kicking off with a celebration of all things Eggplant and I couldn’t be more excited! My love for eggplant start a few years ago with Eggplant Parmesan, I mean really, who doesn’t love anything smothered with mozzarella cheese? And has since grown into an absolute obsession with all things eggplant! Strolling through the Santa Monica’s farmers market one can see how many different kinds of eggplant there are! White Eggplant, Baby Eggplant, the stripy purple and white eggplant called Rosa Bianca… and my personal favorite, the Japanese Eggplant. They happen to have a thinner skin and sweeter flavor and I love ’em.



This past weekend I picked up a few slender Japanese Eggplants from the farmers market and decided to make Eggplant Chips! I thinly sliced the eggplants, making sure to keep the skin in tact, because I like the color! You can easily take the skin off if it’s not your thing. Then I liberally salted them and let them sit for an hour or so to get some of the water out….

I then brushed them with a paprika and garlic infused olive oil, and baked these for about 30 minutes until they were just slightly crisp but not yet burnt. And to compliment the Eggplant Chips, I made a Cashew and Cilantro Pesto! The pesto can easily be adapted if you would rather use pine nuts or another favorite nut, but cashews happen to be my most recent obsession. I eat bagfuls by the day. I can’t believe I went 25 years without eating Cashews – I’ve gotta make up for lost time!

Summer Fest: Eggplant Chips with Cilantro Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Summer Fest: Eggplant Chips with Cilantro Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1/3 cup cashews, un-roasted and unsalted
  • 2 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil + 3 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 4 Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • extra salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the cilantro, cashews and 2 cloves of garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Stream in 1/2 cup olive oil while the food processor is on, making sure to scrape down the sides once fully incorporated. Add the Asiago cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper and combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed and set aside.
  3. Slice the eggplants into 1/3 inch thick rounds and lay onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt over the eggplant and let sit for about an hour.
  4. Using a paper towel, blot off the salt and water and place back onto parchment paper.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Combine the remaining olive oil, paprika and garlic salt in a small bowl. Using a small brush, brush the olive oil mixture onto both sides of the eggplant.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the eggplant as you don't want to let it burn.
  8. Remove from oven and sprinkle with finishing salt and serve immediately with the Cashew Cilantro Pesto Dipping Sauce.

And be sure to check out what all the other Summer Fest participants are making in celebration of Eggplant:

Food2: Around the Eggplant in Eight Ways

Big Apple Nosh: Baba Ganoush

FN Dish: Grilled Eggplant Recipes

Taste With The Eyes: Indian Eggplant, Lemon Confit, Garlic and Thai Basil

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Grilled Marinated Eggplant Sandwiches

Sassy Radish: Eggplant Caviar

The Little Kitchen: Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna

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  1. Hi Gaby – I am so glad to be introduced to your blog through Summer Fest. Your eggplant chips look wonderful, especially love the color. Great addition to the fest!

    I live in LA too, and go to the Sunday Farmers’ Market in Palos Verdes…

  2. Gaby these look awesome! I need to really COOK eggplant well in order to like it or have it turn out like you did. Will be trying this next time.

    And cashews, yes! They are amazing. I use them in soooo many raw/vegan unbaking dessert projects from raw vegan cheesecake as the filling to raw vegan kale chips as the coating. I was just posting the other day that I really dont like nuts….except for cashews IN recipes and of course, nuts as Peanut butter :)

  3. Oh, I love these. The pizzeria across the street from our last NYC apartment used to have the best eggplant chips appetizer –I’m totally stealing your method (though I thik theirs were battered and fried)

  4. I too love eggplant and have since I was little and beets too. I will make some of these with some beet chips!! oh yummmmm

  5. What a wonderful idea! I love eggplants, but never thought to make them into chips. I would love to snack on these… much better than snacking on my Doritos!

  6. Good suggestion, Gabby!! eggplants are a perfect veggies for the summertime, and I guess cilantro pesto is a good combination for them.
    In Italy, we have many recipes for the eggplants, some of them are known throughout the world, like the “melanzana alla parmigiana”.
    A special recipe with eggplant, unknown, are the eggplant rolls with ham and pecorino cheese:

  7. I love this idea! I was just wondering last night if it could be done and now I know it can :) I know what I’m doing with my left over eggplant! Mmmm

  8. i love eggplant and look forward to trying these…how do you go from almost done to not burning…i seem to always miss that sweet spot…thank you

  9. I made these on Friday, and they were a huge hit! I am sending someone a link to you site today so they can have the recipe too. :)
    BUT… my eggplant slices didn’t get crispy. I swear I cut them the size you said, and even after turning up the oven and leaving them in there longer, they were still pretty soft. Any tips???

    Thanks for GREAT site!! (@EPMaxwell)

  10. This looks so good! I’ve never thought to make eggplant chips – what a great idea. And I bet the cilantro pesto tastes fantastic. I’m definitely going to make some for my cilantro crazed foodie mom the next time she visits the farm. Thanks for the delicious inspiration. :)

  11. YUM! I love eggplant, and a crunchy eggplant with dip sounds even more delicious. Maybe my husband will like this version of the eggplant since I can’t get him to eat the mushier kind…THANKS!

  12. This came out perfect and delicious, thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I enjoyed it during a relaxed family BBQ tonight! I put some garlic powder in half the batch and paprika in the other half. Wondefull!

  13. I am always looking for low GI snacks and had never thought of eggplant chips before. Great idea, I have half an eggplant in the fridge so will definitely be giving them a go.

  14. Oh my gosh – these look amazing. I actually found your recipe by clicking into a couple of other versions of your recipe – this is the one that’s perfect for me. The cilantro pesto sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to try it.

  15. I oiled and salted both sides of the chips. This made them too oily and too salty so be sure to do 1 side w oil n salt. I have a slicer I bought on line and this made the eggplant the perfect size and thickness. The chips are excellent.

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