Baked Eggplant Rolls with a Tomato Basil Sauce

This meal was BEAUTIFUL! The sauce, the filling and everything about it was delicious.

I made this dish last week as an entree and I have to say, it was a delight to eat. I even  went back for seconds and that was after I’d consumed a slow-cooked chicken dish and a ramekin of rhubarb and apple crumble! Greedy, much?! 🙂

The dish takes a little bit of time to prepare but it really is worth it. I added a small amount of crumbled cow’s feta into the ricotta mixture and bit more on top with some basil as a garnish. Enjoy!

Egg-plant

Baked Eggplant Rolls with a Tomato Basil Sauce
Serves 4

  • 2 fresh eggplant, trimmed, sliced lengthwise into 6
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 800 g whole tomato canned in tomato juice, chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh basil, torn
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • 150 g reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tbs grated parmesan cheese, chopped
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • Oil spray

Preheat oven to 230 degrees. Spray a baking tray with oil and set aside.

Lay eggplant in a single layer on prepared baking tray and spray with oil. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

To make filling, spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, or until onion starts to soften. Add 1 clove garlic and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile combine ricotta, parsley, basil and 2 tablespoons parmesan in a seperate bowl. Stir to combine. Add the cooled onion mixture to ricotta mixture, then add egg and season well with salt and pepper.

To make sauce, place the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic and saute for 2 minutes, or until light brown. Add crushed tomatoes and stir to combine then reduce heat to low. Add basil and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat and set aside.

To make eggplant rolls, reduce oven temperature to 210 degrees. Spoon 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce into the base of a 20 cm square ceramic baking dish. On a clean chopping board place a slice of eggplant. Spoon 2 tablespoons of ricotta filling at narrow end and roll up. Place in prepared baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.

Arrange rolls in a single layer in dish. Spoon over remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and cheese has melted. Garnish with chopped basil and a sprinkling of feta. Enjoy.

These can be made a day ahead of time and stored in an airtight continer in the fridge. They are best reheated in a moderate oven for 15 – 20 minutes, though I didn’t have any left for the next day to reheat!

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Quick Tomato Relish

My favourite after school snack as a child was tomato relish and cheese, sometimes on crackers, usually on toast. I have always been quite the fan of relishes and chutneys and these days when I go back home to visit the family, I raid Mum and Dad’s pantry. It is seriously stocked full of chutneys, relishes and sauces – my kind of heaven.

The following is Mum’s recipe which she has been making for as long as I can remember. It’s fantastic as a relish in a burger or just with cheese and crackers. It is also delicious on just about any kind of meat. Tomato relish is pretty much ideal for anything you fancy.

It’s definitely not hard to make and is something that’s always good to have available. Such a brilliant way to use up overripe tomatoes too. Enjoy!

Quick Tomato Relish
Makes about 1.5kg

• 1.5 kg red tomatoes, sliced
• 2 onions, sliced
• 1 tbsp mustard seeds
• 125 ml white wine vinegar
• 150 grams sugar
• 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
• 1 pinch of nutmeg
• 2 tsp cornflour
• salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp cornflour

Bring all the ingredients to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about half an hour. Mix the cornflour with a little water, add to the mixture and stir well until thickened. Decant into sterilised jars.

Homage to the years of after school snacks, endless cartoons, and being home by 3pm!