Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

August 3, 2009


A Salute To The Season and Our Italian Heritage

Today I hosted a luncheon in honor of my mom and sister who are visiting. I immediately knew what I wanted to make and the beauty of the menu was that just about everything could be done ahead of time, with the exception of the bread for the frittata di pane which is a cross between bruschetta and a savory french toast. Trust me, this is a great dish to serve for lunch so I recommend trying it while tomatoes are at their peak.

Our guests were sisters, who like us, grew up in an Italian American family and so in the spirit of our ancestors, the menu was Italian featuring summer produce.

Figs with Prosciutto
Frittata di Pane (with tomatoes from my garden)
Feta-Stuffed Eggplant Rolls with Salsa Verde

Peaches Baked with Amaretti Cookies and Almonds

Eggplant Feta Rolls

1-1 pound firm eggplant
olive oil for brushing eggplant
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
3 red bell peppers, roasted (or 1-14 oz. jar roasted peppers, rinsed and patted dry)
1 bunch arugula (washed and dried)

Preheat broiler. Cut eggplant lengthwise and arrange center slices on an oiled baking sheet. Brush with more oil and and season with salt. Broil eggplant about 3″ from heat until golden, about 5 minutes, then turn over and broil other side. Instead of broiling you can also roast in 450 degree oven until cooked. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl mash together ricotta, feta, mint and salt and pepper to taste. Cut peppers lengthwise into pieces about the same size as the eggplant slices.

Top each eggplant slice with a piece of pepper. Put 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture near narrow end of eggplant and gently press on to it 2-3 sprigs of arugula. Roll up beginning with the cheese end to enclose the the cheese and arugula. You can make these ahead and keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Serve drizzled with salsa verde.
Salsa Verde

1 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.

This would also be great with a pesto (made with fresh basil) dressing.


4 thoughts on “A Salute To The Season and Our Italian Heritage

  1. SOunds delicous – hope you have a great time with your Mom and Sis

  2. That looks really yummy – I have some tiny, tiny little aubergines (eggplant) in my greenhouse. I shall have to nurture them carefully. Not sure what arugula is – I will have to look that one up!

    Pomona x

    • Pomona-arugula is the same thing as rucola. Do you grow that? I love to take the baby eggplants, slice them in half, make some slits in the flesh and push in some chopped garlic, fresh basil, drizzle with olive oil and bake!

      • That sounds really nice – I have just looked up rugola, and I think it is what we call rocket. I don’t have any at the moment, but should shortly be able to re-sow if we have some rain. We grew stacks up until midsummer.

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