Zucchini isn’t the only summer squash that can shine in a quick bread. Here, we grill a whole eggplant until perfectly charred, then scoop out the smoky flavored flesh and whisk it into a batter. The eggplant helps to keep the bread incredibly moist and allows for less fat to be used without losing any of the flavor. Chopped, salted pistachios sprinkled on top of a sweet honey glaze add just the right amount of crunch.
Prepare a grill for high heat. Pierce the eggplant a few times with a fork or knife. Place on the grill, cover, and cook the eggplant, turning every 8 to 10 minutes, until completely charred on all sides and the flesh is soft when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8 1/2-inch-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove the eggplant to a cutting board and squeeze gently to crack the skin so the flesh is exposed. Use a spoon to remove the flesh into a colander set over a bowl (you should have about 1 1/3 cups of flesh). Let it sit for 10 minutes to remove some of the moisture. Transfer the flesh to a large bowl. Add the vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs to the bowl and whisk until well combined.
Whisk the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture to the eggplant mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until everything is combined. Fold in 1 cup of the pistachios. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Flip the pan over to remove the bread and let cool completely on a wire rack, 40 to 50 minutes.
Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, butter, honey and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl until smooth and thick. Spread the frosting on top of the bread, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup pistachios and the flakey sea salt.
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