Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

August 12, 2013
paninigirl

9 comments

Eggplant Rolls

rolls

I’ve always been a lover of eggplant, but J., he’s another story. When we first met he proclaimed a dislike for this vegetable and then I introduced him to my eggplant parmigiano. “How can this be eggplant, it tastes too good” he would say. I would smile and serve him up a second portion.

Years later and I’m still looking for ways to win him over to eggplant. These rolls are a nice addition to a summer meal. Make them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature as a side to a meat or fish course. We savored them as part of a supper featuring the season’s finest vegetables-roasted peppers with burrata cheese, globe zucchini stuffed with ground veal, pasta with a topping of roasted San Marzano tomatoes and white beans with shrimp and rosemary. And of course our starter had to feature tomatoes-more on that later.

Eggplant Rolls Stuffed With Feta

1-pound firm eggplant
olive oil for brushing eggplant
3 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped fine
3 red bell peppers, roasted, or two 7-ounce jars, drained, and patted dry
1 bunch arugula or small bunch spinach, coarse stems discarded and leaves washed well and spun dry

Preheat broiler.
Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange 6 center slices on an oiled baking sheet in one layer, reserving remaining eggplant for another use. Brush eggplant with oil and season with salt.

Broil eggplant about 3 inches from heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn eggplant with a metal spatula and broil until golden, about 4 minutes more. Transfer eggplant to a platter large enough to hold slices in one layer and cool. (Eggplant may be prepared up to this point 3 hours ahead and kept, covered loosely, at room temperature.)

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

Assemble rolls:
Top eggplant slices with pepper pieces, arranging them in one layer. Put 1 tablespoon cheese mixture near narrow end of each slice and into it gently press 2 arugula leaves so that they stick out on both sides. Beginning with cheese end, roll up each slice to enclose cheese mixture and leaves. (Rolls may be made 2 hours ahead and kept, covered loosely, at room temperature.)

***You can also cook the eggplant on the grill, which I did this time.

Serve rolls drizzled with salsa verde.

Salsa Verde

1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leafed), washed well and spun dry
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
preparation
In a blender blend salsa ingredients until smooth. (Salsa may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salsa to room temperature before serving.) This sauce is also perfect drizzled over grilled fish.

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9 thoughts on “Eggplant Rolls

  1. Gorgeous Janie! Il sud on a plate! x

  2. Pingback: Eggplant mousaka (gluten free, grain free, nut free, egg free, soy free, paleo, SCD, GAPS) | healthnutmumblog

  3. Oh my goodness, what a delicious meal. Your eggplant rolls sound so good and must have made a wonderful start to the day.

  4. Gorgeous and delicious!! Wish I had some right now for my lunch 🙂

  5. Eggplant is my VERY favorite, and these look incredible! I think I will have to give it a try this weekend. YUM!!!

  6. Oh what a coincidence. I just ate two eggplant rolls for lunch today. They were the tradition type, but your version looks and sounds intriguing.

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