Saturday, March 06, 2010

Roasted Eggplant Rollups with Swiss Chard & Fresh Mint Filling

Roasted Eggplant Rollups with Swiss Chard & Fresh Mint Filling
From Bon Appetit March 2010 (better photo next time)

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Eggplant “salting” time: 30-60 minutes
Eggplant broil/grill time: 25 minutes
Final roasting time: 40-50

Serves 6

2 medium eggplants (about 2 ¼ lb/1kg), trimmed and cut lengthwise into ¼” slices
Coarse kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
2 ½ -3 cups tomato sauce
1 8oz/226g fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained and thinly sliced (use Buffalo mozzarella if you can find it – definitely worth the cost)
1 (1lb/450g) bunch Swiss Chard, center ribs removed
2 large eggs
1 15oz/475g container ricotta cheese
1 ¼ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cover the bottom and sides of 2 large colanders with 1 layer of eggplant slices in each. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt. Continue layering and salting until all the eggplant slices are used. Place each colander over a large bowl and let stand for 30-60 minutes. Rinse eggplant slices to remove any salt and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

2. Preheat oven to broil.

3. Position oven racks 6” below the broiler element. Line large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange a single layer of eggplant slices. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil. Broil until eggplant slices are tender and beginning to brown. Turn at 3 minutes and continue to grill for another 3-4 minutes. Watch to make sure that the slices do not burn. Note: an alternative to using the broiler is to use a grill pan on top of the stope– or even better the BBQ.

4. Allow eggplant slices to cool before stuffing.

To prepare the filling:
5. While eggplants are draining, you need to prepare the Swiss chard. Bring a large pot of water (I use my Dutch oven) to a boil, add some salt and then the chard. Cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain well, rinse under cold water and drain again, pressing out as much liquid as you can. Coarsely chop the chard and then squeeze between two sheets of paper towels to get out even more liquid. The idea is to get the chard as dry as possible.

6. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Stir in the chard, ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan, mint and black pepper. Set aside.

7. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F/175°C and prepare the baking dishes. I like to use either glass or ceramic coated cast iron dishes. For this dish I needed to use a large lasagna pan plus and 8” square baking dish as well. Lightly oil the pan(s) and place ½ the tomato sauce on the bottom.

8. Place a tbsp of the filling mixture in the center of a single eggplant slice, rolling from the narrow end to the fatter bottom and place the “stuffed” eggplant, seam side down on the tomato sauce. Repeat until all the slices are rolled. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the top of the slices and then add the mozzarella slices and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan.

9. Cover the pan(s) with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the top is brown in spots and the sauce is bubbling (an additional 15-20 minutes).

Serve hot with a salad and you have the perfect dinner.


Juliette said...

That's a great Pesach option, I really miss pasta and variation in that week! Also, curried kneidlach look great!

Ruth Daniels said...

Glad you liked them. I often want to break open the matzo before Passover starts, crave fried matzo and day three, I'm searching for something more interesting.

ejm said...

I love mint with eggplant! This sounds wonderful, Ruth.