Along with tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers, the eggplants are the true summer vegetable in Italy, and in my family. Once they reach our kitchen, straight from my father’s garden, we cook the eggplants in different ways to accompany our holiday days. These Rice Stuffed Eggplant Rolls are one of my mother’s recipes that I love the most.
Do not get discouraged if it takes some time to make them, definitely worth it as they are a real treat! You can serve them as a main dish or as a tasty appetizer, it all depends on the quantity of rolls that you will make.
Ingredients for 2 people
– 2 Medium-big eggplants
– 250g Rice
– 600g Peeled tomatoes
– 2 Eggs
– Grated Parmesan
– A sprinkling of black pepper
– A few leaves of basil
– A pinch of salt
– EVO oil for the tomato sauce
– Peanut oil for frying
Start with the eggplants
1. Wash and slice thinly the eggplants, put them in a colander and sprinkle coarse salt onto one side. Leave them rest for at least 30 minutes (this step is needed to remove their bitterness)
Continue with the tomato sauce
2. Sauté in a pan a clove of garlic cut in half with Evo olive until golden brown
3. When the garlic is slightly browned, add: peeled tomatoes, basil, a sprinkle of black pepper and a pinch of salt suit to your taste
4. Cook the sauce for at least 30 minutes by adding, from time to time, a little of warm water until the sauce is cooked – at the end, it should be quite thick and sticky rather than watery
Cook the rice
5. Wash the rice a few times
6. Set a large pot of water over a medium heat, once the water is boiling add a pinch of salt. Add the rice, stir and bring back to a boil
7. Once the rice is ‘al dente’ (it will take around 15 minutes), drain and mix it in a bowl with a little of tomatoes sauce, the beaten eggs and the grated parmesan
Go back to the eggplants
8. Wash them to remove the salt and squeeze/dry them very well with paper towels
9. Heat the peanut oil in a nonstick pan with high edges and fry the eggplant slices
10. Let them fry for a few minutes until golden brown, turning them at least once
11. Once ready, leave the slices rest on a kitchen paper for a few minutes
If you prefer a lighter version, grill the eggplants instead of frying them. The step number 1 should to be followed anyway.
Make the rolls
12. Take a baking pan and pour into it a bit of tomato sauce and parmesan
13. Take a small plate. Place a small amount of the rice mixture on each fried (or grilled) slice of eggplant and roll it
14. Repeat the same process for all fried (or grilled) eggplants and place them in the baking pan until it is not full (make just one layer)
15. Top them with the remaining tomato sauce and grated parmesan
16. Bake the rolls at 180 degrees for 20 minutes
Tip: You can fry the eggplant slices the night before making the rolls. If you do that, separate well each eggplant slice on the kitchen paper.
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