by Amie Edelstein
Serves 3-4 as an appetizer or snack
These eggplant rolls make a nice appetizer or antipasto dish. They can be made a few hours ahead of time and then warmed up just before serving. Garnish them with fresh tomato sauce and chopped fresh basil, pesto, or pureed red pepper sauce.
1 medium eggplant (the oval kind, not the long, skinny kind)
⅓ – ½ cup ricotta or other creamy, mild cheese (such as Willapa White)
2 tbsp chopped herbs such as basil, oregano, or savory
½ tsp kosher salt
1/8 lb thinly sliced salami or prosciutto (such as Olympic Provisions Saucisson d’Arles)
- Cut the top off your eggplant and cut it in half crosswise. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin, ¼” slices. Spread the slices out on a sheet pan or cutting board and sprinkle them with salt. Let them sit for 10 – 30 minutes. Blot the eggplant with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine the cheese, chopped herbs, and ½ tsp of salt. Mix well .
- Heat a large skillet or sauté pan and add enough oil to just make a thin coating on the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add as many eggplant slices as you can without crowding them. Cook them a few minutes on each side until golden. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until they are soft all the way through. Cook in batches, adding a thin coating of oil to the pan each time, until all slices are cooked. Remove cooked slices to sheet pan or cutting board to let cool.
- Working with one slice at a time, lay the eggplant slice with one of the short sides closest to you. Layer 1-3 slices of salami (depending on the size of the slices) on the eggplant. On top of the salami, put 1-2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture. You don’t need very much filling; if you have too much, the cheese will just ooze out the sides of the involtini. Grabbing hold of the short end of the eggplant with the filling, roll the slice up until you reach the other short end. The long sides of the slice, which should have some skin on them, should be the side edges of the roll. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices. If you have toothpicks, you can use them to hold the slices together, but they should hold well on their own.
- Once all your rolls are complete, place them all back in the skillet over low heat. Cover the pan and let them warm up for a few minutes, so the cheese gets a little melty.
- Serve warm with your preferred garnish.