Spring is finally (kind of, sometimes) here, and all I can think of making are veggie-filled recipes that are light and fresh. This is one of those recipes that I really hesitate before making, because Jonathan doesn’t eat 95% of the ingredients (ie, eggplant and tomatoes). Being the lovely and supportive husband that he is, however, he always at least tastes my tomato-mushroom-eggplant-random other vegetable he’s never heard of recipes and sometimes he even likes them! (remember those Stuffed portobello mushrooms?). This one definitely falls into the category of recipes that Jonathan didn’t think he would like, but did. Add one point to Team Vegetable.
I’m not even a big fan of eggplant myself, but I luuuvvvv eggplant parmesan and this: aubergine millefeuille (or my take on it: eggplant parmesan rolls). It can be served as a starter or main dish, is vegetarian-friendly, and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Sometime last year on one of me & Jonathan’s “date nights” we went to La Bouteille d’Or, a fabulous little Parisian restaurant with views on Notre Dame. When we got there I remember thinking that I’d fallen into a tourist trap because I was surrounded by groups of…well… tourists. The lighting was a bit too bright for my tastes and the atmosphere wasn’t really that cosy chic that I was hoping for. As soon as our waiter arrived at our table, however, we knew we were in for a treat: he was super professional and attentive, making sure everything was perfect during our meal. When we looked at the menu, we had our second pleasant surprise: the prices were great (especially for the neighborhood!! Hello there, view of Notre Dame), and there was a fixed price menu for even better deals. All of our food was good, but my entrée was really the star of the show: mille-feuilles d’aubergine. I remember forcing Jonathan to taste it and even he said it was good! The recipe is very simple (like a lot of French cuisine) and comes out extremely flavorful with just a few basic ingredients. It’s kind of the French version of eggplant parmesan and it is sooo good. Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, eggplant… yes, please!
- ½ eggplant*
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Bread crumbs**
- Marinara sauce***
- 10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/4 cup spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- Extra olive oil (to drizzle on top)
- Fresh basil (for garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 350degrees F // 180 degrees C.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce in a small baking dish, set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder and olive oil.
- You eggplant should be cut in half vertically, in 1/4 inch thick slices (using a mandoline if possible).
- Layer on the following for your eggplant rolls:
- A spoonful of marinara sauce
- A spoonful of chopped spinach & basil
- A spoonful of mozzarella
- A spoonful of breadcrumbs
- Carefully roll up the eggplant slices, and place them crease-down into the baking dish.
- Drizzle a bit of the olive oil & garlic powder mixture over each one, then season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and some extra mozzarella on top, then add a halved cherry tomato to each roll.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and golden.
- Garnish with more fresh basil, and serve immediately.
*What to do with the rest of that eggplant, you ask? Well, you could double the recipe and make some extras for your lunch or freeze them. Orrrr… you could make Roasted eggplant caviar
(I’ll be adding the recipe for that, soon! Picture the easiest and most flavorful (vegetarian) eggplant dip…ever!).
**I don’t use pre-packaged breadcumbs, but they’re of course fine. If you want to go the fully homemade route, then try this: Place 1 cup of corn flakes, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried basil, and a tiny pinch of hot cayenne pepper, then grind in a food processor until about the size of breadcrumbs.
***If using my marinara sauce, no need to cook the sauce: simply combine all of the ingredients and then spoon the cause onto the eggplant slices. You might want to run the sauce through the food processor first to get it nice and smooth.
This makes two servings as a starter, but can be doubled to make a main dish.
If you don’t usually like eggplant then I suggest giving this recipe a try – it might just convert you!