What to do when you return from a 5 week trip to discover that your vegetable garden has gone wild. My aubergine plants were resisting the temptation to lie down under the weight of a number of ripe globes ready to be picked. My tomato plants resembled a web of dirty hair strands waiting for a good clipping. My box of fresh herbs was also in disrepair with the mint and wild rocket winning the battle of reaching for the stars.
Needless to say, I decided to save what I could, and create a few dishes for the week to use up as much fresh produce as possible. I sliced the aubergines thinly, lengthwise, brushed them with a little olive oil and sea salt and baked them in the oven.
At the same time, I collected the remaining cocktail tomatoes to also bake with olive oil and sea salt in the oven. I also knew that if I could not use up all of my aubergines and tomatoes for the rolls then both roasted vegetables could be frozen to be used at a later date, which made this process even more fulfilling. A little taste of summer for later in the year.
I wizzed the tomatoes in a food processor to make a fresh, roasted tomato sauce and used the cooked eggplant slices for my roll-ups. The result was so tasty and worth a try.
- 2 medium eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise and baked in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt
- 2 cups tomato sauce (made from roasting tomatoes in oven with olive oil and sea salt)
- 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare eggplant slices
- Prepare tomato sauce or use store bought sauce
- Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the base of an oven-proof dish, large enough to hold 12 rolls.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, 1/4 cup Mozzarella, herbs and seasoning.
- Lay the aubergine slices on a flat surface. If the slices are small, use two by placing one slice half way on top of the other to be the same size as a large slices.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture at one end of the slice and then roll up.
- Place each roll up in two rows on the tomato sauce in the oven-proof dish.
- Once all the rolls are in the dish, spoon over the remaining cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180C (350F) or until heated through and the sauce is bubbling.
- The rolls can be frozen before being cooked and used at a later date.