05 February 2014

eggplant rolls - bet you can't eat just one

      I came home tired and hungry not having a clue what to make for dinner.The last time I entered a grocery store was over a week ago; my schedule filled with work, meetings, and play practice. I stood hanging on the door staring at the empty shelves in the refrigerator, as if food would appear just from my presence. But most of my fresh food had run out. All I had to work with was an eggplant, cheese, some leftover pesto and a few sprigs of sad looking basil. I brought them out, put them on the counter and again resumed my staring pose. Wouldn't it be nice sometimes to twitch your nose and whalla, dinner is made? But that wasn't happening, so I began slicing the eggplant. Then suddenly inspiration struck as I  recalled a recipe from a tiny tapas book a friend had given me. As the eggplant salted, I changed from work to relax clothes. Then I rolled these together. When I took them out of oven, I couldn't eat just one. In fact, they never even made it to a dinner plate. Fortunately, I saved several for a picture. And because they stood up to the chill test ( it took me a while to photograph), they would make a good appetizer, although they tasted better warm. Enjoy! These are delicious.

Eggplant Roll Ups

2 long thin eggplants sliced  lengthwise
1/4 olive oil ( you may need a tad more)
1 garlic clove crushed
4 to 8 tablespoons of pesto
1 cup grated mozzarella
basil leaves torn in pieces ( optional)

salt and pepper
fresh basil sprigs


1. On a baking sheet, sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally with salt and let stand for 12 minutes to extract bitter juices. Turn over and repeat. Rinse well with cold water  and drain on paper towels.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and add the crushed garlic spreading it around. Sauté the eggplant slices lightly on both sides until  browned and softened so they will be easy to roll. Drain them on paper towels.

3. Spread the pesto on one side of the eggplant. Top with the grated mozzarella and sprinkle with torn basil leaves if using. Season with a little salt and pepper. Roll up the slices and secure with toothpicks if you want. They should stay rolled together without them.

4. Arrange the rolled eggplant  in an lightly oiled oven proof baking dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Transfer eggplant rolls to a serving dish and garnish with fresh basil sprigs

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