Involtini di Melanzane

In just a couple of days Green Kitchen Stories turns 1 year. During this year we have made 75 posts, and we must say that we are pretty happy and proud of every single one of them. We have actually prepared, cooked and been taking pictures of many more recipes, but for different reasons they never made it the whole way. As we were going through this pile of rejected recipes we found one that actually is one the best dinners we’ve had during these last couple of months. So we decided to post it anyway, even though we (David) didn’t think the pictures were good enough at first. And that’s pretty ironic considering there were three photographers in our apartment on the night that we first tried this dish. We never planned to take pictures of it that night, but with all those photographers in our small apartment that proved to be impossible …

Involtini di Melanzane is one of those recipes that you should save for a weekend when you invite friends over for dinner. It is a little bit complicated to make but it is absolutely worth the effort, and you can make most of it in advance. It’s kind of similar to a lasagna, but fresher since it’s made without the lasagna noodles. The secret that makes this recipe taste so great is the filling – pistachio, feta cheese, capers and bulgur are just amazing together. And if you add some cinnamon to it, it will be perfect for Christmas as well.

Involtini di Melanzane (adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson)

2 eggplants, thinly sliced (1 inch/2 cm)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt

Use a pastry brush to cover the eggplant slices in a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and grill in the oven on high temperature until soft and slightly burnt. While they are in the oven, prepare the tomato sauce (but don’t forget the eggplant slices in the oven, then they will be burnt and impossible to roll. Yes we have tried that a couple of times …).

Hot Tomato Sauce:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried chili
2 tins canned tomatoes
freshly chopped basil
a pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add onion, garlic and chili. Let it stir for a couple of minutes, then add canned tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. While simmering, prepare the stuffing.

Good stuff(ing):
200 g wholegrain bulgur (can also be replaced by couscous or quinoa)
1 tsp dried oregano
50 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped (save a little for topping)
200 g goat feta cheese, crumbled (save 75 g for topping)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large spring onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp capers, (drained of vinegar)
1 egg

Cook the bulgur according to the recipe on the box. Add the rest of the ingredients – except the egg – and stir around with a fork. Add the egg, use your hands to kneed it together with the rest of the stuffing.

Tasty Topping:
75 g goat feta cheese, crumbled
a dash of olive oil
a pinch of fresh (or dried) basil
some chopped pistachio nuts

Place the grilled eggplants, one by one, in front of you. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the stuffing at the bottom of it and roll up lengthwise away from you. Put them on a slightly oiled baking pan. Pour over the tomato sauce and the crumbled feta, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with fresh or dried basil and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 min. Sprinkle some chopped pistachio nuts before serving.

58 Comments

  • Valeria
    Just made this for lunch today... it exceeded my expectations, fabulous and beyond this world. One of the best meals I've had in a while.
  • lana
    i made this today and it was amazing!!thank you so much for this site!
  • ann-charlotte bonner
    Man säger att japaner äter med ögonen. Vilken myt ! Ni finns ju !!! Helt underbara recept för såväl ögon som kropp och själ .
  • Wow, that looks great! Have to try it sometime! I just started reading your blog, at first just because of the pictures but now I noticed you make great food too :D
  • christine
    I love everything about this site. It makes me feel healthier, greener and more artistic just looking at it! a quick question...which part of the recipe can be made in advance and how would you recommend reheating before serving?
    • Hi Christine! Thank u soo much!!! You can grill the eggplant, make the tomato sauce and also the filling and keep it in the fridge. Before serving, put it together and bake it in the oven. Hope you'll like it:) /Luise
      • christine
        I hope you are having a great time in the US. Will you come up to Canada? :) I made this in advance this weekend (including rolling it up and topping it with the sauce because I was really in a rush and needed it ready to bake when I arrived at my parents' house) and it STILL tasted delicious! Looking forward to trying more recipes
  • Kirstin
    I really like your side and the creative recipes! One suggestion I have though: It would be really great if you can also state °C measures and not just Fahrenheit! Thanks a lot in advance. Kirstin
  • Oh! I love the sound of that filling. I've made something similar out of veganomicon, but the grainy filling is such a good idea. Yum.
  • This sounds divine! I love that your pictures that aren't quite up to your standards are a million times better than any I can take! :)
  • Mmm! I like to make something similar and just got a handful of baby eggplants from the farm. Wonderful reminder!
  • Looks and sounds most delicious, especially the stuffing. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing.
  • Julie
    Can't wait to try this one!
  • Beautiful... photos are stunning.. I adore this kind of meal.. :)))
  • I have made something similar but my stuffing was nowhere near as interesting as yours. Love the pistachios in there! What a terrific idea.
  • This looks amazing, I can't wait to try it.
  • Yes oh yes... this is a work of beauty, my friend. I'm in love with this post and this blog. And I wish you many more years of good fortune as you approach your 1 year anniversary.
  • Congratulations on your bloggiversary! As always I am looking forward to your posts as I truly enjoy each and every one of them! This is such a lovely dish, I can imagine how delicious the filling must be! Another one to bookmark from your blog, thank you ever so much and here's to many more posts! Maria x
  • Debby
    I'm a certified tomato addict, so anything with tomato in it: I love. So it's guaranteed I'll love this recipe as well, especially the tomato sauce! Most of the time I just take some olive oil, garlic and tomatoes and mix it with some seasoning.. I'm going to add an onion to it as well, and see how that works for me ^^ A friend of mine suggested I try the spanish Sofrito tomato sauce, did you guys ever try that one?

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