Nosh – Eggplant and Goat Cheese Rolls

eggplant rollsMy love for eggplant runs deep. From it’s subtle bitter taste right down to the midnight color of its skin, eggplant calls out to me. We eat it at least once a week in the summer when I can get it straight from a farmer. Eggplant has such a subtle flavor that it makes a great base to showcase other flavors. Such it is with these pretty little eggplant wraps. These look fancy and complicated, but are in fact not! They’ll bring a tasty wow factor to any gathering. The proportions given below will make about 15-20 rolls.

1 eggplant, try to find one that’s pretty straight, not curvy

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup goat cheese, at room temperature

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I like parsley and thyme)

Salt and pepper

1 package chives, washed

Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut off the stem end. Slice lengthwise into thin slices, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Lay each slice flat on the cutting board. Cut 1″ from both skin sides of the slice. This will make 3 pieces, 2 of which will be 1″ wide with pretty eggplant skin on one side. (Reserve the skinless middle piece for a bonus treat.) Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let rest in sink or over a stack of paper towels for 30 minutes. Salting eggplant removes some of the bitter taste, prevents browning, and makes the slices easier to handle.

Move a rack to the top position in the oven. Preheat the broiler. Rinse eggplant slices under cool water to remove salt and then pat each slice to dry with a clean dish towel or paper towels.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Brush each slice of eggplant with oil and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet (it will probably take a couple of batches). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes, then flip each slice and broil for 2 more minutes. The eggplant should be soft but not mushy and falling apart.

Combine goat cheese, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Lay out one slice of eggplant. Smear about a teaspoon of cheese mixture on the slice making sure to leave a dab on both ends (this will serve as ‘glue’ to hold the roll together). Roll up the eggplant slice lengthwise into a roll. Gently lift the roll up and place a chive under the roll in the middle. Tie chive once around roll and stand roll up on serving platter. Repeat with all eggplant slices. For presentation, smear a little tomato sauce on serving platter before plating rolls. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Eggplant and goat cheeseFor a tasty side dish or treat for the hostess, oil and broil the reserved skinless slices of eggplant as above. Layer with cheese mixture, top with a chive or two, and eat immediately. OR treat the whole eggplant this way and serve as an artful side dish or first course at a dinner. Any way you prepare it, softened eggplant, goat cheese, and fresh herbs are delicious.

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2 Responses to Nosh – Eggplant and Goat Cheese Rolls

  1. amber says:

    What a stunning presentation! I love the creative ways you showcase your dishes.

  2. Tanya says:

    love this idea, I have been using eggplant a bunch and its nice to see it paired with goat cheese!

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