I was away in Scotland for a week and was wonderfully proven wrong by my White Knight. He did not go out to eat every night with the kids nor did he resort to sandwiches or eggs all week. In fact, he came up with a truly delicious way to make the eggplant that came in our CSA/Farm basket that week that even the kids inhaled! (I'd say his cooking was one of the top reasons I married him, but we both lived in a military barracks and so there was no way to test his cooking skills until later - at any rate, he is a fantastic, if messy, chef and I benefit greatly from that!)
The thin eggplant slices are not overpowering in flavor and even come out tasting a bit like lasagna noodles. Put a thin stripe of marinara sauce on top and they might not even know the difference! So, now that I have this fairly simple, mildly time-consuming recipe down, I'm sharing it here for Try a New Recipe Tuesday over at Home to 4 Kiddos, or Encourage One Another Wednesday at Deep Roots at Home - make sure you head over to see what other folks are talking about today!
The White Knight's Version of Eggplant Roulade
(heavily modifid from an unknown Internet source)
1 large eggplant
Breadcrumbs to coat (I didn't have these so I crushed up stuffing cubes and mixed it with a bit of corn meal)
1 c. Ricotta cheese
4 oz. cream cheese OR 1/2 c. fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
6 oz. block chevre/goat cheese
Handful fresh curly parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. Paprika (optional)
Fresh Romano or Parmesan, grated (to go on top)
Olive oil for frying (not enough to deep fry, but eggplant is thirsty and will use up quite a bit!)
|A usually-picky 4 yo Buttercup cleans her plate (!)|
So get on with it! How do I make this yummy, kid-friendly goodness??
- The easiest way to do this recipe is to have your work station set out in an assembly line before starting. So I had a bowl of water, a second bowl with the breadcrumbs, and a cutting board with my piled up eggplant to the left of my frying pan. To the right of the pan was a plate for rolling the eggplant up on, and to the right of that was my baking dish.
- Thinly slice the eggplant - as thin as possible without tearing through. This will leave the bulbous lower portions unused, so set them aside for another recipe. Set the eggplant aside.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan or cream cheese, chèvre, parsley, salt, pepper, and paprika (if using), and mix well until the lumps are out.
- Place this bowl near the plate for rolling the eggplant.
- Preheat the oven to 400 deg. F. and heat olive oil in a frying pan at medium heat. You don't want it to cook too fast, so it does not need to be high heat - your pan should not be smoking. You want some time in between.
- Dip the first eggplant slice into the water and then coat both sides with bread crumbs. Place the slice in the frying pan and repeat with a 2nd slice. My pan only held 2, so I used the time while they were frying to work on rolling the one I had just removed. If yours will hold more, continue to add slices to the pan until the bottom is fairly covered, but make sure the slices are not overlapping. When the eggplant begins to soften, turn it over - you want both sides to be light golden brown and the breadcrumbs a slightly crunchy.
- While the eggplant in the pan is frying, go to work on a slice you've just taken out. Using a fork or your fingers (the best option), spread a thin layer of the cheese mix over the top of the eggplant slice. Roll this slice in much the same way you might an enchilada, and place in the baking dish, seam-side-down. Repeat this with the remaining eggplant slices until you run out of ingredients or your baking dish is full.
- Cover the top of the rolled eggplant pieces with shredded Parmesan or Romano and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve hot with a glass of white wine and some greens. I made sauteed kale with lime juice while ours were in the oven and had plenty of time to spare. One eggplant will give 2 - 3 rolls to 5 people.
|Rolled up and ready for parmesan topping|
|Equally particular 2 yo Mr. Magoo nearly finished!|