Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls Recipe

Petits Rouleaux d'Aubergine Farcis

[Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls]

Last night, Maxence and I threw a little dinner-party for my two dear friends, Marie-Laure and Laurence, and their respective boyfriends, Ludovic and Jean-Christophe. Over the next few days, I will post the menu for this dinner…

You can see us pictured here in our living-room : from left to right, Marie-Laure, Ludo, myself, Laurence and Jean-Christophe. Interesting detail on this picture : you remember Stéphan and Patricia, our neighbor-friends? Through the window behind us, you can see their kitchen window : say hi to Stéphan and Patricia! Maxence is not on the picture, because there had to be a photographer. But I don’t want you to think I’m hiding him from you, so here’s a picture of him, too.

After an apéritif during which we nibbled on sweet potato chips (ethnic-store bought), we sat down to eat the first course, stuffed eggplant mini-rolls.

Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls

– 18 slices of grilled eggplant : I used two bags of the delicious frozen eggplant slices from Picard, but if you don’t have that kind of product on hand, slice and grill three eggplants
– two large Carrés Frais. Carrés frais are squares of fresh cheese, lightly salted. Substitute cream cheese or fresh goat cheese.
– a small jar of black tapenade (olive paste)
– a handful of pinenuts

(Serves 6.)

Lightly oil a large gratin dish. If you use frozen eggplant slices, thaw them. Toast the pinenuts in a dry skillet. Put the cheese in a small bowl, and fluff it with a fork.

Take each eggplant slice in turn, spoon a little cheese on the largest end, add a little tapenade, sprinkle a few pinenuts, and roll up the slice. Use a toothpick to hold it into place, and put the roll in the gratin dish.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and put the dish in for about ten minutes. They should be warm, but not hot.

I served each of us three rolls, arranged in a triangle, with three olives (brought back from Italy by Laurence and Jean-Christophe) in the middle, and slices of baguette. The different tastes complement each other very well, making this a light and fresh opener…

  • Jenny

    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?

  • Jackie

    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.

  • clotilde

    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?

  • Jenny

    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).

  • 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!

  • Jackie

    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.

  • Jenny

    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:

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