© 2010 Green Kitchen Stories Melanzane

Involtini di Melanzane

In just a couple of days Green Kitchen Stories turns 1 year. During this year we have made 75 posts, and we must say that we are pretty happy and proud of every single one of them. We have actually prepared, cooked and been taking pictures of many more recipes, but for different reasons they never made it the whole way. As we were going through this pile of rejected recipes we found one that actually is one the best dinners we’ve had during these last couple of months. So we decided to post it anyway, even though we (David) didn’t think the pictures were good enough at first. And that’s pretty ironic considering there were three photographers in our apartment on the night that we first tried this dish. We never planned to take pictures of it that night, but with all those photographers in our small apartment that proved to be impossible …

Involtini di Melanzane is one of those recipes that you should save for a weekend when you invite friends over for dinner. It is a little bit complicated to make but it is absolutely worth the effort, and you can make most of it in advance. It’s kind of similar to a lasagna, but fresher since it’s made without the lasagna noodles. The secret that makes this recipe taste so great is the filling – pistachio, feta cheese, capers and bulgur are just amazing together. And if you add some cinnamon to it, it will be perfect for Christmas as well.

Involtini di Melanzane (adapted from Nigella Lawson)

2 eggplants, thinly sliced (1 inch/2 cm)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt

Use a pastry brush to cover the eggplant slices in a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and grill in the oven on high temperature until soft and slightly burnt. While they are in the oven, prepare the tomato sauce (but don’t forget the eggplant slices in the oven, then they will be burnt and impossible to roll. Yes we have tried that a couple of times …).

Hot Tomato Sauce:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried chili
2 tins canned tomatoes
freshly chopped basil
a pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add onion, garlic and chili. Let it stir for a couple of minutes, then add canned tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. While simmering, prepare the stuffing.

Good stuff(ing):
200 g wholegrain bulgur (can also be replaced by couscous or quinoa)
1 tsp dried oregano
50 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped (save a little for topping)
200 g goat feta cheese, crumbled (save 75 g for topping)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large spring onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp capers, (drained of vinegar)
1 egg

Cook the bulgur according to the recipe on the box. Add the rest of the ingredients – except the egg – and stir around with a fork. Add the egg, use your hands to kneed it together with the rest of the stuffing.

Tasty Topping:
75 g goat feta cheese, crumbled
a dash of olive oil
a pinch of fresh (or dried) basil
some chopped pistachio nuts

Place the grilled eggplants, one by one, in front of you. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the stuffing at the bottom of it and roll up lengthwise away from you. Put them on a slightly oiled baking pan. Pour over the tomato sauce and the crumbled feta, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with fresh or dried basil and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 min. Sprinkle some chopped pistachio nuts before serving.

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38 Comments

  1. Debby
    Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 00:56 | #

    I’m a certified tomato addict, so anything with tomato in it: I love. So it’s guaranteed I’ll love this recipe as well, especially the tomato sauce!
    Most of the time I just take some olive oil, garlic and tomatoes and mix it with some seasoning.. I’m going to add an onion to it as well, and see how that works for me ^^
    A friend of mine suggested I try the spanish Sofrito tomato sauce, did you guys ever try that one?

  2. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 01:04 | #

    Congratulations on your bloggiversary! As always I am looking forward to your posts as I truly enjoy each and every one of them! This is such a lovely dish, I can imagine how delicious the filling must be! Another one to bookmark from your blog, thank you ever so much and here’s to many more posts! Maria x

  3. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 01:05 | #

    Yes oh yes… this is a work of beauty, my friend. I’m in love with this post and this blog. And I wish you many more years of good fortune as you approach your 1 year anniversary.

  4. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 04:29 | #

    This looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it.

  5. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 08:46 | #

    I have made something similar but my stuffing was nowhere near as interesting as yours. Love the pistachios in there! What a terrific idea.

  6. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 09:18 | #

    Beautiful… photos are stunning.. I adore this kind of meal.. :)))

  7. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 09:25 | #

    So simple and lovely!

  8. Posted 28 Sep ’10 at 16:02 | #

    This is wonderful!!

  9. Julie
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 04:42 | #

    Can’t wait to try this one!

  10. Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 19:23 | #

    Looks and sounds most delicious, especially the stuffing. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 20:59 | #

    Mmm! I like to make something similar and just got a handful of baby eggplants from the farm. Wonderful reminder!

  12. Posted 1 Oct ’10 at 00:01 | #

    This sounds divine! I love that your pictures that aren’t quite up to your standards are a million times better than any I can take! :)

  13. Posted 1 Oct ’10 at 09:18 | #

    Oh! I love the sound of that filling. I’ve made something similar out of veganomicon, but the grainy filling is such a good idea. Yum.

  14. Posted 2 Oct ’10 at 13:56 | #

    I love this one!

  15. Kirstin
    Posted 2 Oct ’10 at 16:46 | #

    I really like your side and the creative recipes!

    One suggestion I have though: It would be really great if you can also state °C measures and not just Fahrenheit! Thanks a lot in advance.

    Kirstin

  16. christine
    Posted 3 Oct ’10 at 19:35 | #

    I love everything about this site. It makes me feel healthier, greener and more artistic just looking at it!

    a quick question…which part of the recipe can be made in advance and how would you recommend reheating before serving?

    • Posted 4 Oct ’10 at 09:31 | #

      Hi Christine!
      Thank u soo much!!!

      You can grill the eggplant, make the tomato sauce and also the filling and keep it in the fridge. Before serving, put it together and bake it in the oven.
      Hope you’ll like it:)
      /Luise

      • christine
        Posted 15 Oct ’10 at 06:43 | #

        I hope you are having a great time in the US. Will you come up to Canada? :) I made this in advance this weekend (including rolling it up and topping it with the sauce because I was really in a rush and needed it ready to bake when I arrived at my parents’ house) and it STILL tasted delicious! Looking forward to trying more recipes

  17. Posted 11 Oct ’10 at 22:59 | #

    Wow, that looks great! Have to try it sometime! I just started reading your blog, at first just because of the pictures but now I noticed you make great food too :D

  18. ann-charlotte bonner
    Posted 12 Oct ’10 at 14:13 | #

    Man säger att japaner äter med ögonen. Vilken myt ! Ni finns ju !!!
    Helt underbara recept för såväl ögon som kropp och själ .

  19. lana
    Posted 15 Oct ’10 at 12:58 | #

    i made this today and it was amazing!!thank you so much for this site!

  20. Valeria
    Posted 24 Oct ’10 at 22:09 | #

    Just made this for lunch today…
    it exceeded my expectations, fabulous and beyond this world.
    One of the best meals I’ve had in a while.

  21. Valeria
    Posted 26 Oct ’10 at 03:41 | #

    Oh, something that’s really killing me and I feel I must know… did you take those photos in the sunlight or in artificial light?

    • Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 09:24 | #

      HI Valeria, actually we never use artificial light in our photos, it’s always daylight. I remember that we shot these pictures quite late, so it’s natural light but with quite long shutter time.
      /David

  22. Posted 26 Oct ’10 at 15:42 | #

    Oh god! Marvelous!

  23. Posted 28 Oct ’10 at 18:09 | #

    This recipe looks delicious and the photos are great! I am definitely making this and very soon too :)

  24. Josephine Malene
    Posted 4 Nov ’10 at 19:48 | #

    This is sooo delicious. I am a student at nutrition and health at Århus University, and I have recommended your blog to everyone in my class, and everyone else :) We are quite a few people trying all of you recepies, and then evaluating them, and we love it. Last night I made this one, and we were in heaven. Thank you for providing us with heavenly food and inspiration…

    • Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 05:15 | #

      Hi Josephine Malene!
      Thank you so much for taking time to let us know, it makes us so happy that we can be an inspiration to you guys! And we’re glad that you like the Involtini di Melanzane, one of my favorites too, try it with quinoa filling aswell, amazing!

      Say hi to everyone at ‘Health and Nutrition’ at Århus University!!

      /Luise!

  25. Posted 29 Mar ’12 at 02:03 | #

    As a lover of quinoa and Italian food, any recipe that combines the two is heaven on earth for me. We just made this for dinner, skipped the cheese because I don’t eat dairy, but topped it with melted vegan cheese…DIVINE!

    Our quinoa mixture was a bit different too – with mushrooms, red peppers, shallots and spinach. Your recipes are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to try more of them. Thanks for sharing and inspiring with such healthy foods!

  26. Alexis
    Posted 17 May ’12 at 16:57 | #

    Thank you for this recipe. I made 2 substitutions with what I had on hand: millet for the bulgar, and parsley for the basil. It was delicious.

  27. Mama
    Posted 26 Jun ’12 at 21:53 | #

    I love this recepie, have done it several times. But the recepie is Nigellas originally, you should write that. Only fair in kitchenworld. :)

  28. C
    Posted 27 Jan ’13 at 09:36 | #

    Sounds yummy and love that there are no noodles involved. I’ve been experimenting with that myself. Any ideas for egg replacement? I guess I could just leave it out but there would be nothing to hold it all together. Maybe a chia egg? Any thoughts?

    Have a wonderful day!

  29. Keith James
    Posted 17 Jun ’13 at 00:03 | #

    You have a typo! Have just cooked this and in doing so noticed a typo in the recipe that I though you might like to be aware of. In your list of Ingredients you state that the aubergine should be in 1″ / 2cm slices! I kept mine to mostly between 3/8″ and 1/4″ which gave good results. Thinner than this and they burn too readily nor can you really taste them in the final dish. I found that any that had crisp burn spots will soften if you place another cooked slice on top whilst still warm.
    Italians often shy away from having both onion and garlic in the same dish, but I happily kept both in as I usually do. It took an effort to resist putting in my normal squeeze of tomato paste into the sauce though but am glad that I did resist as the sauce was rich enough. I have recently explored Mexican food and have a range of dried chillies to choose from ranging from the mild chocolatey Ancho to the fiery citrusy Habanaro. I chose to go for the medium smokey chipolte but only used 1/4 tsp which gave a nice tingle on the tongue.
    Why did you restrain the use of the cinnamon to Christmas rather than include it as standard as in Nigella’s recipe? I used couscous instead of bulgur and the stuffing was still good. I grated the garlic into the stuffing instead of mincing it and this gave a prominent flavour that some might find too strong. I kept the pistachios coarsely chopped as opposed to finely chopped and this gave a lovely soft crunchy texture to the filling. I did hold back putting on the fresh basil until the dish came out of the oven to prevent it becoming burnt and bitter.
    A jaw droppingly delicious dish that we enjoyed immensely as are most of your dishes. Thanks for posting your genius talent for taste so that we can all enjoy these excellent dishes.

    Keith
    London, England
    A vegecentric omnivore

  30. Anne Savage
    Posted 30 Nov ’13 at 20:22 | #

    Nu har jeg fulgt denne opskrift flere gange og serveret retten til middagsselskaber med stor succes (ender ofte med at folk beder om opskriften, og så bliver de naturligvis guidet hen på jeres super gode blog!). Det er helt klart én af mine favoritter. Jeg laver gerne lidt for meget “filling” som jeg lægger i bunden af fadet, inden retten bliver sat i ovnen. Og skulle der være noget tilovers er retten ligeså god til frokost dagen efter.
    Jeg elsker at bladre gennem jeres blog og kan kun tilslutte mig alle de der giver jer komplimenter- det er en smuk og inspirerende blog. Bliv endelig ved!
    Dbh Anne :-)

  31. Jessica
    Posted 10 Feb ’14 at 10:04 | #

    Fabulous recipe! Used left over couscous and served it at a dinner party, and was an absolute hit. Definitely a ‘make again’ recipe!

  32. Julia
    Posted 23 Feb ’14 at 21:52 | #

    Amazing!
    I made them today on a Sunday as Dinner/Supper and they were a hit
    My friend came to visit and together me and my family and along with her enjoyed the dish.
    It tasted so good in fact, that my friend didn’t almost believed me that I did it by myself! We enjoyed the nicely filling but not fulling dish!

    Ah btw I used red+white quinoa and it tasted as said heavenly.
    It was so good that my friend suggesnted me to work i a vegetaian restaurant and she’d stop by everyday to enjoy the food I cook haha!
    Thank you so much! This recipe is a keeper and will definatly be remade for special guests!t

8 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Abendessen bin ich bei dem wunderbaren Blog von Green Kitchen Stories auf ein Rezept für gefüllte Auberginen gestoßen. Hier werden die Auberginenscheiben mit einer Mischung aus Bulgur und Ziegenfeta [...]

  2. [...] Here’s the whole recipe! [...]

  3. [...] You could do the eggplant in the oven, too. Recipe here. [...]

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  5. By ◊ Wrong Again | cross counter exchange on 3 Apr ’14 at 10:28

    […] Shabbat dinner looked like a lot of fun and ours was too. I made my own version of this recipe from one of my favorite sites, Green Kitchen Stories. I veered from their Italian spices and went […]

  6. […] greenkitchenstories.com […]

  7. By Eggplant Lasagne | An American in Antwerp on 26 Aug ’14 at 13:10

    […] dish came about by accident. Originally I wanted to make Green Kitchen Stories’ Involtini di Melanzane, or rolled stuffed eggplant, because I had tomato sauce left over from a couple of nights before! […]

  8. […] Adapted from greenkitchenstories […]

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