Monday, July 18, 2011

#53 - Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard and Fresh Mint

When we made eggplant Parmigiana a couple months ago, we started out by saying, "There are a million ways to make eggplant Parmigiana." Well, we wanted to try another, and we found this interesting variation - they're eggplant rollatini stuffed with Swiss chard and mint.

Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard and Fresh Mint

From Bon Appetit
There are a ton of ingredients in this one, but the main ones are eggplant, mint, and Swiss chard. We got some rainbow chard from Star Hollow this week, so we looked it up, and it seemed like they were pretty interchangeable. If you don't have either, you can also just swap out with spinach.
Rainbow chard is really just a mix of different color varieties of chard, and the one we used had a pretty red stem. None of that really matters, though, since the first thing you do is remove the colorful center rib.
So you start out by salting the eggplant slices to draw out some of the extra moisture and bitterness before broiling them.
Then you make the filling with the chard, mint, egg and cheeses.
Then you roll the slices with the filling inside, place them in a dish and cover with sauce and mozzarella.
And then you're done. This was a pretty interesting dish. The chard went really well with the eggplant, but the mint was definitely ... different. It balanced with the meal on some bites, but then on others, it tasted a bit too much like dessert or something. We've got a lot of leftovers to go through before we make a final decision on if this is a dish worth making again, but it was definitely fun to try once just because of how unique it is.
If you feel like trying this one out, here's what you need to do:
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. swiss chard, center ribs removed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 8-oz ball fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained and thinly sliced
  1. Cover bottom and sides of 2 colanders with 1 layer of eggplant slices, and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Continue layering eggplant slices in each colander, sprinkling each layer with salt, until all slices are used.
  3. Place each colander over a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Rinse eggplant slices to remove excess salt, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  5. Position oven rack 5 to 6 inches from hear source, and preheat broiler.
  6. Line 3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant slices on sheets and brush both sides with olive oil.
  7. Broil one sheet at a time for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until tender and beginning to brown.
  8. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add chard and boil until just tender, about 2 minutes.
  9. Drain chard, and rinse with cold water. Squeeze chard very dry.
  10. Coarsely chop chard and squeeze dry again.
  11. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir in chopped chard, ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmigiano, mint, and black pepper.
  12. Lightly oil 15x10x2 glass baking dish, and spread half of the tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish.
  13. Divide chard-ricotta filling among eggplant slices, placing 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Starting a short end of each, loosely roll each slice, enclosing filling.
  14. Put rolls, seam-side down, on top of sauced baking dish.
  15. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over eggplant rolls. Place mozzarella slices in single layer over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano.
  16. Preheat oven to 350.
  17. Bake rolls, covered with foil, until heated through, about 30 minutes.
  18. Uncover and bake until sauce bubble and cheese gets brown spots, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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