Here at The Humble Gardener, we love to feature simple recipes that you can make with ingredients fresh from your garden. We know quite a few of our readers have a nice harvest of eggplant and tomatoes that’s waiting to be used in the kitchen! This simple recipe is a treat for your palate and your eyes– you’ll see your eggplant in a whole new light when they’re wrapped up and filled with mozzarella, tomatoes, goat cheese and basil. A nice change from typical eggplant recipes (think eggplant parmesan), this recipe is light, refreshing, and garden-inspired.
Eggplant Rolls with Mozzarella & Tomatoes
- 2 medium (1 pound) eggplants, ends trimmed
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup grated fresh mozzarella (about 1/2 pound)
- 4 ounces mild, soft goat cheese, such as montrachet, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- 25 large fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped tomato
1. With a large sharp knife, cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle the slices on both sides with salt and let them drain in a colander for 15 minutes to release excess moisture. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a bowl, stir together mozzarella, goat cheese, 1 tablespoon chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush both sides of eggplant slices lightly with oil. Lightly coat a clean grill with cooking spray and heat to medium (or preheat broiler to high). Grill or broil eggplant 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and seared. Season with salt and pepper, turn over, brush with more oil, and grill or broil 3 to 4 minutes more, or until eggplant just begins to soften. Remove and let sit 10 minutes.
3. Transfer eggplant to a baking sheet. Arrange basil leaves in slightly overlapping pattern across each slice of eggplant. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture at the narrow end of each slice, roll up cigar fashion, and secure each with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Arrange rolls, seam sides down, in a lightly oiled 9-by-13-by-2 inch glass baking dish and broil 4 to 6 inches below high heat, 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is just melted and bubbling.
4. Meanwhile, puree 1/2 cup chopped basil, remaining tablespoon chives, and 1 cup oil in a blender until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Transfer cooked eggplant rolls to serving plates with spatula. Scatter tomatoes around rolls and drizzle with basil oil.
Recipe adapted from OrganicGardening.com.