Eggplant Rolls: A Recipe to Use Up Leftovers
Eggplant rolls - a Saturday use-it-up recipe
We've been getting organised. We have recently changed our system and rather than going to the grocery store when we run out of food, we go on Sunday mornings.
This can make Saturday's dinner rather challenging.
Saturday is now the evening to cook with whatever we have in the fridge that needs to be used up. Last Saturday, it was an eggplant, half a jar of pasta sauce and half a tub of ricotta. Fun.
But the results were completely delicious. Now this features on our menu on a regular basis.
These quantities were perfect for the two of us for dinner. We're greedy (well, he is) so you might find that these quantities will serve more - especially if you serve this with a delicious crusty bread (to mop up the sauces) and a lovely fresh salad.
Made too much? It's probably even more tasty warmed through the next day.
Here's what I could rustle up:
- 1 eggplant - topped and tailed
- Ricotta (about a cup)
- Half a jar of pasta sauce (tomato-based)
- An optional sloosh of red wine
- Olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Herbs to garnish (preferably but not essentially) basil
How to prepare these delicious rolls
This dish is quick to prepare and it's a great way to use up leftovers.
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise into strips. I got about ten slices from a medium sized eggplant - each roughly one eighth of an inch thick. (I use a serrated bread knife).
- Take a cookie sheet and line it with absorbent paper towel.Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat about an eighth of an inch of olive oil in a large skillet. It needs to be large enough to hold the eggplant slices. I can cook three at a time.With the pan at a medium heat, fry the slices. They'll need just a few minutes on each side. I find that pressing them with a spatula helps them cook faster and releases some of the absorbed oil.
- As each slice is cooked, lay it on the paper towel (I find that the traditional salting before cooking doesn't prevent oil absorption). If you wish, pat the top of the slices with paper towel if the slices seem too oily.
- Mix together the garlic, ricotta and black pepper in a small bowl, then grease an oven dish. (I just rub it with the paper towel that has absorbed the olive oil).
- Place a little ricotta mix at one end of every eggplant slice. A heaped teaspoon is about right but be sure to divide it more or less evenly - smaller slices will require a little less.
- Roll up the slices and put them seam-side-down in the oven dish and bake. They will need about ten minutes or so - just long enough to heat the stuffing.
- Using the same pan you used for the eggplant (who hates doing the dishes?) heat the pasta sauce. Add a sloosh of wine if you wish (I always do) and a little pepper. You can add anything you might have at this stage. I've used sliced mushrooms, a chopped tomato, leftover cooked vegetables - depending on what's in the fridge.Leave this simmering until the rolls are ready.
- Serve the rolls with the sauce and, if you have them, a few fresh herbs.
Need more meat-free inspiration? Well, you can look out for my other recipes which are guaranteed to be quick and easy to make.
Most of the time they are incredibly budget-conscious too. We like to eat well but we don't want to break the bank.
I do find though that i get a lot of inspiration from cookery books, don't you? Check out the book below.These are top sellers, very popular and absolutely jam-packed with great ideas for meat-free meals.
A feature I love about this book is the way that the author suggests that when we cook, we should be thinking about leftovers.
After all, by increasing amounts when cooking dinner, you'll always have a home cooked 'ready meal' in your fridge or freezer.
© 2014 Jackie Jackson