This recipe comes from Classic Pasta at Home and is fairly simple to make. It’s a bit time consuming though, not so much in physical labor, but in waiting time. The eggplant cooking process is kind of like cooking with a crockpot, so to speak.
What you need for this recipe is 2 eggplants, 2 red bell peppers, 1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, 3/4 cup of grated pecorino cheese, one tablespoon of pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, basil leaves, white wine vinegar, and parsley.
Your first step in making this dish is to trim and cut the eggplant into 1/3 inch slices. You are only going to use 8 of these slices, however. Once you’ve got your 8 slices, arrange them on a rack and sprinkle with salt. Let them stand on the rack for about two hours. This is done so the eggplant softens, making it easy to roll up.
When the eggplant has soaked enough salt, you pat it dry and then boil it in water for 5 minutes to soften even further. After the boiling process you transfer the eggplant strips onto a towel to dry.
Now you are ready to make your filling. I got a bit annoyed with myself on this process. I almost always refer to the recipe list for my measurements, forgetting that those measurements are sometimes divided into different sections of the cooking process. Needless to say when a recipe says “throw all the stuff together!” I take it for it’s word and then just look to the ingredients list instead of paying attention to the details within the recipe.
I never said I was a good cook people. Read my intro, I admit fully I lack in culinary skill.
Anyway the first step in making the mixture I got through unscathed. That was to set the oven to the broiler setting, though. So do that and then cut your bell peppers in half. Remove the seeds and place inside the oven. Broil until the skin has blackened and then peel once they have cooled down. After they are peeled, cut the peppers finely and mix with one tablespoon of olive oil, not four like I did. You will also add pine nuts, (which I omitted because although they are delicious, they are also expensive) breadcrumbs, and 1/4 a cup of the cheese. Guess what I did with the cheese? Added too much like the oil. Thankfully my mixture turned out ok, despite this error.
The garlic is also added to your mixture, but after it’s been sautéed in olive oil for a minute. This should be done with one tablespoon of oil and the garlic should be minced before cooking.
When you finally mix everything together, all you need to do is spread the filling onto your eggplant strips, add a strip of basil, and roll up. Drizzle the eggplant with the remaining olive oil, which should be two tablespoons by the way and sprinkle with white wine vinegar.
Your rolls are now ready for baking. To do so, set the oven to 375 and bake for about an hour. Remove from the oven, sprinkle more cheese, touch it up with some parsley, and you’ve got a tasty little eggplant roll!
My rolls came out a little over cooked and stuck to the bottom of pan, but they tasted amazing! I recommend cooking them for a half hour instead to prevent this problem. I think the full hour is not needed. I haven’t tested this theory, though, so feel free to check for yourself.