This is a quick to make simple eggplant preparation which gives a crunchy taste and a healthy bite. Marinate eggplant with your favourite spices and roast them by topping with cheese, olives and herbs. It can either be roasted in oven, grill or even in the pan. This can served as a starter or even combine with pasta/gravies and served as a dish. So enjoy this roasted aubergine in any of your favourite form or just enjoy with salads.
Leave it to our friends at Epicurious to come up with yet another stunning adaptation of a classic Sicilian appetizer recipe. This time, Peter Salerno is happy to serve up a fantastic Italian appetizer: eggplant roulade, or involtini di melanzane.
If you love the smoky, savory taste of grilled eggplant, then this recipe is sure to please. According to Epicurious, this preparation of eggplant roulade serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course. We personally prefer to double the recipe and serve 8 for a classic family-style Sicilian appetizer!
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Recipe: Grilled Eggplant Roulade (Involtini di Melanzane)
1 medium eggplant
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 plum tomatoes
5 dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, parsley, and tarragon leaves)
1/4 cup crumbled soft mild goat cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
Trim eggplant and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Using a total of 3 tablespoons oil for eggplant, lightly brush both sides of each slice with some oil and grill in batches on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until golden brown and tender, about 3 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, broil eggplant under a preheated broiler about 3 inches from heat.) With a metal spatula transfer eggplant as grilled to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.
Cut an X in blossom end of each plum tomato. Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a small saucepan of boiling water blanch tomatoes 10 seconds and transfer with a slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Peel tomatoes and seed. Chop blanched and dried tomatoes. Mince onion and garlic.
In a 10-inch heavy skillet heat remaining tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté onion, garlic, and pine nuts, stirring, until onion and pine nuts are golden. Add blanched and dried tomatoes and herbs and sauté, stirring, until liquid tomatoes give off is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add goat cheese and Parmesan and cook, stirring, just until melted. Remove skillet from heat and season filling with salt and pepper.
Put a generous tablespoon filling at wide end of an eggplant slice and roll up slice toward narrow end, enclosing filling. Make more roulades in same manner and arrange on a warm platter.
Looking for a delicious, authentic Sicilian appetizer or side dish for your next traditional Italian dinner? If you’re looking for a fresh take on classic Sicilian ingredients that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for even the most discriminating Italian taste buds, then Caponata is the perfect dish for your table.
Caponata (also spelled “capunata”) is a traditional Sicilian eggplant dish that forms a beautiful vegetable salad that pairs perfectly with fish entrees. The eggplant is chopped and fried in olive oil, then served with a melange of vegetables, pine nuts and celery in a sweet and sour sauce.
There are many variations on caponata, but our favorite comes from a reliable source: the fine people at SAVEUR have once again provided an outstanding, authentic Sicilian recipe that has graced our table more than once. Their unique blend of sweet and sour, utilizing a wide variety of ingredients (from green olives to unsweetened chocolate!), creates the perfect blend for eggplant caponata.
Try it for yourself. We think you’ll be thrilled with the result, and your guests will find this recipe for caponata one-of-a-kind – and leave them begging for seconds!
Peter Salerno’s Favorite Caponata Recipe (from SAVEUR)
3 cups olive oil
2 lbs. eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. tomato paste, thinned with ¼ cup water
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
6 oz. green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. finely grated unsweetened chocolate
½ cup finely shredded basil
2 tbsp. pine nuts
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat.
Working in batches, add eggplant and fry, tossing occasionally, until browned, 3–4 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a large bowl; set aside.
Pour off all but ¼ cup oil, and reserve for another use.
Return skillet to heat, add onions and celery, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, and add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized and almost evaporated, 1–2 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Stir in olives, vinegar, raisins, capers, sugar, and chocolate, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to bowl with eggplant, along with basil and pine nuts, and mix together.
Season with salt and pepper, and let cool to room temperature before serving.