Aubergine Involtini

aubergine involtini

It went from the blistering heat of summer to the wicked rain and wind this week. So in keeping with a weather a nice warm and hearty dish to share.

I used to always say how much I loved aubergines but a year or so ago while driving back from Bordeaux we stopped in the town of Saintes and we ended up at a pizza joint. I was not only hungry but excited about my choice, that is until I bit into poorly prepared aubergine that was spongy and bitter. I’ve had a hard time enjoying it ever since.  Jérémie knew asking me to cook some up would probably be a challenge but even I had to admit that the ones being offered by the maraîcher at the Fontainebleau market were beautiful. So I agreed and decided to try out an old recipe that I had thrown together from what I had on hand. I had just a few notes from that last time that read, “Aubergine heated it in a pan until it was soft enough to roll with a filling of spinach, artichoke, ricotta and goat cheese.”

This rendition is a little bit different (no fresh goats cheese on hand this time) so here’s what I came up. It’s a fairly flexible recipe so if you have something slightly different in your fridge and you think it’ll work, I invite you to make it your own and clear the fridge at the same time! Would love to hear and see how yours turns out.

Spinach and artichoke stuffed aubergine

Aubergine Involtini

Christina (Vine and the Olive)
Stuffed Eggplant Roulades
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Onions small
  • 3 cloves Garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 can plum tomatoes whole (850g)
  • ¼ tsp Salt (adjust according to your tomatoes)
  • ½ tsp Oregano dried
  • ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Aubergine/Eggplant
  • Salt Coarse
  • 250 g Spinach frozen (heated and strained of excess water)
  • 100 g Artichoke chopped
  • 100 g Ricotta
  • 1 clove Garlic grated or finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Thyme dried
  • tsp Salt
  • 25 g Parmesan grated
  • 1 Lemon all of the zest and juice of half of the lemon
  • Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • drizzle Creme Fraiche / Heavy Cream

Instructions
 

  • Dice onions and add them to a lightly oiled pan over medium heat
  • Begin roughly chopping 3 garlic and add to the pan when the onions have sufficiently softened and just before adding a whole can of plum tomatoes
  • Finally add your salt, oregano, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar and pepper
  • Let it remain at a low simmer for approximately a half-hour until it has thickened up and the flavours have come together
  • Using a knife or a mandoline, cut your aubergine lengthwise with a thickness of approximately .5cm
  • Lay out the slices on a cooling rack and cover both sides generously with salt to remove excess water and bitterness from the aubergines (thus avoiding the spongy quality)
  • Allow them to sit at least one half hour
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C
  • In a saucepan measure 250g of frozen spinach and place over a low heat to melt
  • Meanwhile chop up 100 g of marinated artichoke (drained), place in a medium-sized bowl
    Add ricotta, your grated or finely chopped garlic clove, thyme, salt, parmesan, lemon zest and juice and season with pepper.
  • When your spinach has completely thawed place it in a fine-mesh strainer to remove excess water before adding it to the bowl. Mix thoroughly
  • Place your tomato sauce into an oven-safe baking dish (I split mine in two so we could enjoy the rest another night)
  • Rinse off and pat dry your aubergines and give them a quick fry in a hot oiled pan to colour both sides
  • Take your spinach filling and place a large dollop at the end of each piece of aubergine and roll up and place in your baking dish
  • Take creme fraiche or heavy cream and spoon out or drizzle over the rolls before baking
    Cook for 25 minutes. If you'd like it a little more golden just give it a quick couple minutes under the broiler. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Notes

While you could eat this alone we ate ours with leftover pasta and spooned these on top. Delicious!

 

 

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Serving France and Beyond