Eggplant Involtini

 

Every writer should have a desk. Having a designated space to spout ones thoughts would (and should… and hopefully will be) paramount to producing great work – right? It’s rather odd then that I’m only just getting around to buying one myself, which has made for some rather uninspiring make-shift work spaces in the past – the dining room table and sofa are often akin to an office but not having any real separation from work and relaxation has begun to take its toll. So, once we’d decided to tackle the spare room I knew we had to incorporate a little area for me to tap away … away from our living area. Being someone who is easily distracted having easy access to the telly, my vinyl collection, and most significantly, the kitchen, can frequently spell ‘where did the day go’ disaster so this new set-up is my way of ensuring I get more constructive work done during the day. Here goes!

 


 

what you’ll need

3 large eggplants (aubergines)

1 cup couscous

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp allspice

pinch cayenne pepper

1 lemon

30g bunch flat leaf parsley

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

 

for the sauce

1 x 400g plum tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper

 

pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit.

 

heat a griddle pan and brush lightly with olive oil. slice the aubergines lengthways and brush each side with oil. griddle each slice for several minutes on each side until marked. set aside until needed.

 

bring a large kettle of water to the boil. add the spices to the couscous along with a little salt and a quarter of a lemon. pour over the boiling water, stir, cover and set aside until all the water is absorbed. once absorbed, remove the lemon with a fork, squeeze over any excess juice and fluff with a fork. lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan, shaking it periodically. stir the pine nuts and finely chopped flat leaf parsley through the couscous, squeeze over the juice from the remaining lemon along with a drizzle of olive oil and a touch more seasoning.

 

place all the ingredients for the tomato sauce along with a 1/2 cup of water into a blender (I use a Froothie Optimum 9400) and blend until smooth. pour about a quarter of the sauce into the bottom of a deep baking dish and tilt until the entire surface area is coated.

 

place the griddled aubergine on a chopping board and distribute about a tablespoon of the couscous mixture over the entire slice. carefully roll and place in the baking dish. repeat until all the eggplant slices have been used. if there’s any leftover couscous, toss some of it over the aubergine rolls prior to adding the top layer of sauce. I also like to reserve a little couscous for serving too.

 

pour the remainder of the tomato sauce over the eggplant rolls, cover and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 30minutes before removing the foil and baking for a further 10 or so minutes.

 

serve with the leftover couscous and top with rocket (arugula)… finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a smattering of nooch and a few chilli flakes.

 

One response to “Eggplant Involtini”

  1. juliane says:

    Congrats on your new office space! So funny, I’m the opposite, I do have an office, however I have this thing about needing to switch up where I do my work every couple of months or so… right now I’m all over the kitchen table… and thinking about moving into the living room next cause the light is really pretty in there during autumn. it’s like i have to keep things fresh to revitalize my energy 🙂 xo juliane

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