Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant Rolls


The holidays are just around the corner, in fact, Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend, a month later American Thanksgiving is celebrated, and a month after that Christmas will be here. I don’t know about you, but I do a lot more entertaining during the holiday season, and I’m always looking for new recipes that I can prepare ahead of time. When I have guests at my home, I often like to assemble an antipasti platter or even a table if it is a large group. This starter allows folks to try what they want, and as much as they want. These eggplant rolls would be a perfect addition to and antipasti spread as they are full of flavor, can be assembled and baked ahead of time, and are an excellent option for vegetarians.

The only trick to making these rolls is to use the long, thinner eggplants, about three inches across. Try to choose younger, firm eggplants as they’ll have fewer seeds and will hold together better. Raisins are a typical ingredient in Sicilian cooking and add a lovely subtle sweetness to the filling. I like to plump my raisins before using them in any recipe which adds an extra step but is well worth the few minutes it takes.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2017

Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 3 Large, Long Eggplants (See Notes Above)
  • 10 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
  • 3/4 Cup Soft Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 Cup Raisins Soaked In Boiling Water For 10 Minutes, Then Drained & Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Unsalted Pistachios
  • Grated Zest & Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Salted Capers, Rinsed & Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Pecorino Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/3 inch slices with a sharp knife. (You should have 12 equal sized slices. Throw the outer slices away)
  3. Bring a large shallow pan of water to a boil, then drop the eggplant slices into the water in batches.
  4. Cook for four minutes until softened.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggplant slices from the water and dry thoroughly on a paper towel lined tray.
  6. In a frying pan, heat 5 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, then add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the breadcrumbs, and cook another 2 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and add the raisins, parsley, pistachios, lemon zest and juice, capers, pecorino, salt and pepper.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Place some of the stuffing mixture along the top of each of the eggplant slices, then roll up firmly and secure with toothpicks.
  11. Place the prepared eggplant slices on an oiled baking sheet, then brush with the remaining olive oil.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes then serve warm or at room temperature.