I'm still calling these "eggplant rolls" even though, as you'll see in a minute, the damned things didn't really "roll" as I had envisioned. So I lose a few points on artfulness.
Anyway, here we go...
Spicy Eggplant Rolls
1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/3" strips and salted on both sides, like so:
3/4 cup Veggie Shreds mozzarella cheese
1/2 medium onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, stems trimmed
4 tbsp olive oil (not pictured... solely the fault of the Veggie Guy)
Cayenne pepper (also not pictured... not sure who to blame this one on)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Using a kitchen towel, press moisture out of salted eggplant slices. (This removes the bitterness that can ruin the whole shebang).
Fry eggplant slices in olive oil, sprinkling each side with cayenne pepper. 1 - 2 minutes per side is sufficient. You want them soft, not charred.
Place eggplant slices in a large baking dish. Fill half of eggplant slices with spinach leaves, red pepper slices, onion slices, and mozzarella "cheese". Fold in half, and cover with a bit more "cheese".
(Note: I use Veggie Shreds because it more or less melts like real cheese, especially in covered dishes.)
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
The finished eggplant rolls pictured above are served with blackened garlic asparagus, which I'll cover in a later post.
The verdict? My wife thought they were quite tasty, and even commented that I should have done a video demonstration instead of just posting pictures. Yeah, that was my original plan, but sometimes these things just don't work out.
I thought they were very good too, although I have to admit I'm miffed about the whole "roll" concept not panning out. I was envisioning something that looked like a sushi roll, only with eggplant.
Softening the eggplant slices requires a bit more oil than I'm used to, but it's still far healthier than, say, eggplant parmesan (or most anything that omnis eat, for that matter).
And, I'm proud to say that this meets the coveted "30 minutes or less" criterion, so you can get this on the table without screwing around in the kitchen all night.
Well, that's about it for the moment... I'm told it's time to but together the 3-story Barbie Dream House I've been putting off. Better go dust off the Dictionary of Colorful Expletives...