Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini with Daiya Cheese

I can't recall exactly what brought about my craving for eggplant rollatini this week, but I decided to indulge myself and give making it a shot.  I also decided I'd try and do a vegan version.

Eggplant rollatini involves taking thinly sliced eggplant, frying it, stuffing it and baking it in sauce.  Since I've never made it myself before I consulted two recipes to get a sense of the techniques involved.

I used my mandoline to slice the eggplant.  The advantage of using the mandoline is that you get uniform pieces and the slicing goes very quickly.  I then salted the slices and let them drain on paper towels.

I then set out to make my sauce.  I chopped a medium size yellow onion and a large handful of sliced cremini mushrooms, seasoned them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauteed them in olive oil.  I then added five cloves of minced garlic.  Since there were some brown bits on the bottom of my saucepan, I deglazed it with a bit of wine.  I then chopped up 10 roma tomatoes and added them to the pot, along with some very generous sprinkles of Italian seasoning.  When it came to a vigorous bubble, I turned the heat down and let it simmer.

I then dried off my eggplant and prepared to fry it.  Sometimes, eggplant rotini is breaded, but I didn't like how my test breaded piece came out.  So, instead, I just pan fried the eggplant plain.  I used some olive oil in the pan, but also spritzed the eggplant pieces with olive oil cooking spray.

Once the eggplant pieces were done frying, I set them aside and began work on my filling.  I had some leftover kale from earlier this week, so I sauteed that with some garlic.  Once that was done cooking, I used tongs to put a small heap on the edge of the eggplant, and topped the heap with daiya mozzarella and fresh thyme and parsley.  

I then rolled the eggplant into tight little packages and put them in a square glass baking dish.  I had a little kale & garlic left over, so I sprinkled that, along with the leftover herbs, on top.  Then, I covered the eggplant rolls with sauce and a generous sprinkle of daiya.  

I let the whole thing bake for just under 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, the point at which the cheese had melted and the sauce was bubbling.  It was a little hard to get out of the pan - in hindsight, I probably should have used toothpicks and let it sit longer, or perhaps made a chunkier sauce or let it cook longer so it was less wet.  But, the flavors were nice and it was a filling dinner, so I am counting this experiment as a success.


No comments:

Post a Comment