Eggplant Rolls with Fresh Cheese and Pine Nuts Recipe

Eggplant Rolls with Fresh Cheese and Pine Nuts

Last night, Maxence and I threw a little dinner party for my two oldest friends, Marie-Laure and Laurence, and their respective boyfriends, Ludovic and Jean-Christophe.

After an apéritif during which we nibbled on sweet potato chips (bought at the African market) down with chilled white wine, we sat down to a first course of Eggplant Rolls with Fresh Cheese and Pine Nuts.

These eggplant rolls are super easy to make: more ingredient assembly than actual cooking. I get frozen eggplant slices that are perfect for this, but you could also go to your local Italian deli, or grill some eggplant yourself.

Such a light and fresh opener! I served three eggplant rolls per guest, with plenty of fresh baguette and some olives that Laurence and Jean-Christophe had brought back from Italy for us.

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Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves 6.

Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls Recipe

Ingredients

  • 18 slices grilled eggplant -- buy them at the Italian deli or grill them yourself, from about 4 eggplants
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) fresh goat cheese or cream cheese (or cashew cheese to veganize)
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) black olive tapenade (black olive paste)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Instructions

  1. Lightly oil a large baking dish.
  2. Taking each eggplant slice in turn, scoop 2 teaspoon's worth of cheese on the largest end of the eggplant. Top with 1 teaspoon tapenade, sprinkle with a few pine nuts, and roll up the slice.
  3. Use a toothpick to hold the roll in place, and put it in the prepared dish. This can be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated.
  4. This can be served cold, at room temperature, or lightly warmed in the oven.
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/starters/stuffed-eggplant-mini-rolls-recipe/

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  • Clotilde – These sound wonderful…since I don’t think I’ll be able to find the Carres Frais here, and I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese, do you think could I substitute Fromage Blanc instead?

  • These sound great, and very easy.

    Jenny, just an idea (one I’ve considered when it comes to making these): perhaps one can substitute the stuffing used for involtini? From Nigella Lawson’s recipe, the stuffing is as follows:

    100 g bulgar wheat
    1 tsp dried oregano
    350 ml boiling water
    50 g pistachios, roughly, chopped
    200 g feta cheese, crumbled
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 fat spring onion or 2 thin spring onion, finely, sliced
    2 tbsp capers, drained
    1 egg
    1 pinch cinnamon

    Put bulgar wheat and oregano in a bowl, pour over boiling water and cover with a plate. After 30 minutes of steeping, sieve the bulgar wheat, leave to cool then add chopped pistachios, crumbled feta, garlic, spring onions and capers. Combine with a fork, then add egg beaten with cinnamon and squeeze stuffing together with hands. Roll up in aubergine slices.

  • Jenny – fromage blanc would probably be too liquid, and might leak from the rolls. If you like fresh goat cheese or feta, that’s what I would use instead…

    Jackie – this stuffing recipe sounds great! Very interesting mix of flavors… Is this from one of her books?

  • That stuffing does look yummy. It could transform the dish into a main dish, since bulgar is so filling. I bet it could also be used to stuff squash (although I haven’t found the cute little ones you used a while ago, Clotilde).

  • To me, the size of these mini-rolls sort of keep them in the starter category. They’re also a little time-consuming to make as you have to make sure not to tear the eggplant slices when you fill and roll them, so I probably wouldn’t make a ton of them at a time!

    But I’m definitely keeping that stuffing recipe in mind : you’re right Jenny, it would be great to stuff winter squash or zucchini!

  • Clotilde, the stuffing comes from the recipe for Soft and Sharp Involtini in the book Nigella Bites. You roll up the aubergine slices with the stuffing inside, then put in an oiled dish, pour over a tomato sauce (recipe included with the involtini recipe), scatter over some crumbled feta, drizzle with oil, sprinkle over dried oregano and bake. It is served warm, not piping hot, with some pistachios scattered on top.

    I’ve never made it, but it looks good! I may have to try it, and your recipe, at the same time to compare.

  • In a funny coincidence, the Nigella recipe for Involtini is in the New York Times “Dining In” section today! You can link to it online here: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/10/dining/101NREX.html

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