An eggplant roll is a very colorful and delicious appetizer. I personally like to make these rolls in winter because they remind of sunny days. For a buffet style serving neutral cocktail picks can be used to secure the rolls – the rolls are bright enough and don’t need attractive picks.
A dollop of fresh goat cheese or feta (French feta is one of my favorite) adds a nice touch of creaminess and saltiness.
Last time I made the eggplant rolls without any cheese as I had another appetizer with goat cheese and I didn’t want to ‘overcheese’ my table. Filled only with vegetables the rolls were still delicious.
Leftovers, if there will be some, could make up for a great warm appetizer or a side dish – just sprinkle the eggplant rolls with some grated cheese and reheat them in oven. Usually, I make a double batch of eggplant rolls. I serve a half or them as an appetizer. Then, in a day, I make the rolls with the remaining eggplant slices filling them with sautéed vegetables and fresh ricotta, topping with Gruyere or mozzarella and baking at 360 F until cheese is melted. Yummy…
If you are out of goat cheese or feta, cream cheese can be used instead.
In a wide pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, peppers, fresh parsley, paprika, tomato paste (if using), and garlic; season with salt and pepper; sauté for 5-7 minutes.
Using a ‘mandoline’ type slicer, slice the eggplant lengthwise into a paper-thin or a little thicker pieces.
Brush grill grates, a grill pan or a griddle with olive oil. Grill the eggplant slices on both sides until grill marks appear. Transfer the cooked slices onto a plate or a board.
Put a spoon of vegetables on each eggplant slice and top with a coffee/tea spoon of goat cheese or feta. Make a roll. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.
Arrange the eggplant rolls on a bowl, on a platter, tray, in small ramekins, or on a board. Garnish with fresh parsley or/and dill and walnuts.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!