4 (8-oz.) Chinese eggplants
2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 medium bunch)
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (about 3 oz.), toasted, divided
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup), divided
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Using a vegetable peeler, cut eggplants lengthwise into strips. (Do not use centers of eggplants with seeds.) Arrange eggplant strips on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Top with a layer of paper towels and a second baking sheet. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide eggplant strips evenly into 4 piles.
Combine parsley, garlic, zest, juice, and 1/2 cup each of the walnuts and Parmesan in a blender. Process on low speed until mixture is roughly chopped, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary. With blender running, slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the oil through food chute, and process until mixture is well blended and no chunks remain, about 1 minute. Stir in pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high. When oil is shimmering and nearly smoking, add 1 pile of eggplant strips; cook, without stirring, until lightly browned on bottom, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir with tongs to redistribute, and cook, without stirring, 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup of the parsley pesto. Transfer to a bowl, and wipe skillet clean. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 3 piles of eggplant strips, 3/4 cup of the parsley pesto, and 3 bowls.
Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon each of the Parmesan and walnuts. Serve with additional parsley pesto.
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