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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- 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
- Lightly oil a large baking dish.
- 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.
- 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.
- This can be served cold, at room temperature, or lightly warmed in the oven.