July 14, 2010 in Food

Eggplant rolls easy to prepare ahead of event

Jim Romanoff Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Orange-scented eggplant and couscous rolls can be made ahead for an easy and light summer meal any time of the week.
(Full-size photo)

Light, in-season and make-ahead – it’s the trifecta for the perfect summer supper.

For this easy-to-prepare dish, thin slices of eggplant are baked until tender, then fashioned into rolls stuffed with delicately spiced couscous and tangy feta cheese.

The rolls can be prepared up to two days in advance, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, remove the plastic, drizzle with marinara sauce and bake until heated through.

Orange-Scented Eggplant

and Couscous Rolls

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 oranges

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

3/4 cup couscous

2 cups crumbled feta cheese, divided

4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided

Ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup prepared marinara sauce

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. You may need 2 baking sheets.

Trim both ends of the eggplant. Standing the eggplant on end, slice it lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Discard the end slices of skin.

Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets and brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until lightly browned on the undersides, about 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue baking until the second sides are lightly browned and the flesh is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, grate the zest of a half an orange, then juice both oranges. Transfer the zest and juice to a medium saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, the apple cider vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the water. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and remove the pan from the heat. Cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork, then let cool. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the feta and 3 tablespoons of the parsley. Season with pepper.

Coat a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place about 1/4 cup of the couscous mixture at one end of each eggplant slice. Pressing with your fingers to compact the filling, roll up each slice and transfer them, seam-side down, to the prepared dish.

In a small saucepan, heat the marinara sauce until warm. Drizzle the marinara sauce over the rolls. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until the rolls are heated through and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining feta and parsley just before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 508 calories, 27 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 18 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrate, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 8 grams dietary fiber, 1,085 milligrams sodium.

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