Friday, June 19, 2009

Grilled Eggplant Rollatini with Fresh Mozzarella

I adore eggplant. I really love fried eggplant but it's so messy to make and not exactly healthy for you. I find grilling eggplant is a far superior way to go - especially in the summer. The grill adds a smoky flavor and the eggplant really chars up beautifully in a matter of minutes. There's nothing prettier than a set of grill marks on a thick slice of eggplant.
I made these simple rollatini for an appetizer the other night. I thinly sliced an eggplant, drizzled it liberally with olive oil on both sides and then seasoned the slices with salt and pepper.
I threw them over a hot grill until they were softened and nicely charred on each side. Then I took some fresh mozzarella and cut it into strips. I cut some fresh basil from my herb garden and rolled up a strip of mozzarella and a piece of basil inside a slice of my soft, smoky eggplant.
That's an old photo of my basil plants. With all the rain we've had they are huge now!! In fact all my herbs are flourishing, thankfully.

Then I topped it with more fresh basil and a drizzle of sweet aged balsamic vinegar - some of THE BEST stuff on earth.
You can buy this in any Italian specialty grocery store. It's not cheap though. It'll run you anywhere from $25 to $100 a bottle, depending on quality. I got this bottle on Market Street in Philly's Little Italy. It's so rich and thick and sweet you would never believe it's vinegar. Scrumptious!


Erika said...

I love your blog! I have never cooked with eggplant, fear of the unknown I guess. But yours looks great!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Your blog is great- I'm making the buffalo chicken tonight! I gave you an award on my blog :)

Joelen said...

Great minds must think alike since i made a similar eggplant rollatini over the weekend! This looks wonderful!

Colleen said...

This looks delicious - great idea!