Friday, December 26, 2008

Spicy Eggplant Rolls

So I've been wanting to try out this recipe for about a week now, but with all the holiday goings on, I just haven't really had time. Well, with a bit of the chaos out of the way, I was finally able to give this a go. (The fact that I was dragging my feet on taking down the tree and clearing the present-opening mess out of the living room might have had a bit to do with it too.)

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...


VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, I LOVE spicy dishes!! Fabulous.

Good luck putting the Dream House together!!

Ricki said...

They sound really good--and I love eggplant in just about everything. And the quick prep time makes them even better ;)

River said...

These look so fabulous and colorful! Who cares if they didn't roll, bring them on!!

Hey, thanks for your nice comment on my blog! :)

...barbara... said...

they look amazing...
i love eggplant...

Rajani said...

hi this looks good, if softening were a problem couldn't you try slicing the eggplant thinner?? (it looks a bit thick in the pic)

laci said...

Those are like vegan parm.s! I know what you mean about how eggplant + heat = lots of oil, but it' way better than lard or anything animal -dervived! I'll definatly try that recipe! =]

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