Eggplant and Beef Rollatini

I have been wanting to cook Italian eggplant rollatini for a while, but because they seem as good as too rich (with the combination of many melted cheeses), I’ve come up with a non vegan variation that counts less calories in the end despite the meat, for a healthier dish. That’s my homemade Eggplant and Beef Rollatini. 

First of all, did you know my first cookbook got published? It’s called Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen, and it’s available online, you’re just a click away, RIGHT HERE!

You’ll find the full recipe at the bottom of this post. Because I really adapted the original recipe, the dish is now more Niçois Provençal than purely Italian ! Niçois Provençal are French adjectives to describe the origin of the city of Nice in the Provence region, where I am from.

I think this dish can make a good healthy lunch, but it can also be made for an easy dinner. For a light dinner, just have 3 pieces per person, otherwise you can eat up to 5 pieces.

If you think my recipe is too good for your light diet, you always have the option to  enrich it by adding some cheese in the filling, or even worse you can use the Italian method on the eggplant slices, which are dusted in wheat flour or lightly breaded before the roll-up step for more consistency (which I think is totally useless, it doesn’t add up a particularly great flavor). Cook spinach leaves in salted boiling water, drain the water out in a strainer. Bake the eggplant slices in a pan, a few seconds on each side until they start to brown. Prepare the filling : in a hot pan with no oil really, no oil, the next ingredients will naturally grease your pan), cook the meat with the onion and the eggplant cubes. In the original recipe there is no addition of eggplant in the sauce, but as I try to cook and respect the easy yet basic principle of not wasting food at all, using the end slices of our eggplant won’t hurt. Add the concentrated tomato with twice its equivalent of water. Stir well to combine. Stir in some chili powder, parsley, salt and pepper.

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On the eggplant slices, put a bit of spinach leaves. Yes, vegetables are gooooooood ! Besides, it’s extra vitamins and fibers, and you want that in your healthy diet, don’t you ? Add a full tablespoon of the tomato sauce and beef mix. Just be careful to keep it all within the eggplant width, to ease up the rolling part.

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Roll up, and align the rollatini in a baking dish, seam side down. A bit more parsley on the rolls will be nice now, if you still have some. Sprinkle grated cheese over the rollatini and cover with a tin foil. Bake for about 40 minutes, and remove the tin foil to cook for 5 more minutes.

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Serve warm, along with salad greens or more raw spinach leaves, and eventual leftovers of the tomato sauce if any.

EGGPLANT AND BEEF ROLLATINI

Ingredients :

  • 1 eggplant (cut 10 slices in the length after removing both end slices)
  • the eggplant’s removed end slices, cut in small cubes
  • 100g of ground beef
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 small can of concentrated tomato
  • 1 handful of spinach leaves
  • chopped parsley
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • grated cheese

Directions :

  • Preheat the oven on 160 degrees Celsius
  • Cook the spinach 3 minutes in salted boiling water, drain the water out in a strainer
  • Bake the eggplant slices in a pan, a few seconds on each side until they start to brown
  • Prepare the filling : in a hot pan with no oil, cook the meat with the onion and the eggplant cubes
  • Add the concentrated tomato with twice its equivalent of water. Stir well to combine
  • Stir in some chili powder, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • On the eggplant slices, put a bit of spinach leaves
  • Add a full tablespoon of the tomato sauce and beef mix.
  • Roll up, and align the rollatinis in a baking dish
  • Sprinkle a bit more parsley and grated cheese over the rollatinis and cover with a tin foil
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, and remove the tin foil to cook for 5 more minutes
  • Serve warm, along with salad greens or more raw spinach leaves, and eventual leftovers of the tomato sauce if any.

Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.

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