Sunday, June 10, 2007

Aubergine rolls with Foccacia Bread

Tonight's (not particularly photogenic) dinner is adapted from a book I have had for years, but haven't cracked open in a long time. I was actually looking for a recipe to use my lovely CSA leeks and happened upon this one instead. The book is called The Practical Encyclopedia of Potato and Rice by Alex Barker, Sally Mansfield and Christine Ingram. It is a great cook book. I have made some really fabulous risotto's from this book

The recipe for aubergine rolls is found in the rice section in a chapter on Greece, Turkey and the middle east. It suggests that this would make an interesting appetizer or part of a Turkish-style meze buffet, but I thought it would make a lovely dinner and would allow me to use some of my CSA herbs. Turns out that my foccacia dough from yesterdays bread class was an excellent addition as well!

This is a lovely, fresh, healthy meal. The tomato sauce utilizes canned tomatoes, but I had bought some local ones today from the nursery as well and added one of those for some extra sweetness and a brighter red colour. Beautiful!

Aubergine Rolls
(Serves 2 for a main, or 4 for an appetizer)

1 large eggplant
olive oil for shallow frying
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used fat free)
1/2 cup goat's cheese
1 cup cooked rice (I used basmati, but long grain or even brown would work)
1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
tomato sauce
1 tbs olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 large fresh tomato
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Make the tomato sauce by heating the oil in a saucepan. Saute onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and parsley and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.

2. Slice eggplant lengthwise into 6-8 slices (discard the end pieces). Brush olive oil on each side and fry in batches until the slices are golden on both sides.

3. Mix the ricotta, goat's cheese, rice, basil and mint, salt and pepper. Place generous portions of the cheese mixture at the end of each eggplant slice and roll up. Arrange the rolls in a shallow baking dish and pour over the tomato sauce. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

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