Baked Eggplant Rolls Recipe – These tender eggplant rolls have a savory stuffing of bell pepper, pecorino cheese and bread crumbs. Serve them before a pasta with tomato sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
- 2 eggplant, about 1 pound each
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus salt, to taste
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted fine fresh bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- About 16 fresh basil leaves
- White wine vinegar, to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Trim the eggplant, then cut lengthwise into slices 1/3 inch thick. You should have 10 to 12 slices. Use only the 8 largest slices (reserve the others for another use). Arrange them on a rack. Using the 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, sprinkle the tops of the slices. Let stand for 2 hours. The slices will exude moisture. Pat dry with paper towels.
- 2 Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices and cook until supple enough to roll easily, 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a kitchen towel to drain.
- 3 Meanwhile, preheat a broiler. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Broil until the skins blacken and blister. Remove from the broiler, cover the peppers loosely with aluminum foil and let cool for 10 minutes. Peel away the skins and chop the peppers finely.
- 4 In a small bowl, combine the bell peppers, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the pecorino cheese, pine nuts and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir to mix well.
- 5 Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add to the bell pepper mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- 6 Preheat an oven to 375°F. Oil a baking dish large enough to accommodate the eggplant rolls in a single layer.
- 7 Arrange the eggplant slices on a work surface. Divide the bread crumb stuffing evenly among the slices, spreading it in a thin layer. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and scatter evenly over the stuffing. Roll up each slice into a neat cylinder, then arrange, seam sides down, in the prepared dish. Drizzle the rolls evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle lightly with vinegar.
- 8 Bake until the eggplant is completely tender when pierced, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup pecorino cheese and with the parsley. Serve hot or warm.