eggplant slices can be made malleable and used to make
a wrap with a stuffing of cheese, pine nuts, spinach
and sun-dried tomatoes.
ideal about the eggplant is that it has so many uses other
than fried and drenched in a red sauce topped with cheese.
can roast slices and use as an ingredient for a grilled
veggie sandwich. You can slice it, and use it in casseroles
or gratins. Or you can roast it and mash the softened flesh
to make a dip.
today’s recipe, fried eggplant slices become malleable and
are used to make a wrap with a stuffing of cheese, pine
nuts, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. The recipe is extra
terrific because it’s meatless.
is a fruit, although it’s thought of and used as a
vegetable. It’s a member of the nightshade family that
includes tomatoes and potatoes.
original recipe makes 16 wraps and recommends four per
serving. This will depend on the size of your eggplant. If
you use the large kind, often called globe eggplant, the
wraps will be larger. Smaller and narrower eggplant will
work for first course- or appetizer-sized portions.
a medium-large eggplant and found that two wraps as a main
dish was plenty for a serving.
two main caveats of eggplant are that they are like sponges,
especially when frying, and soak up a lot of oil. Eggplant
can also be bitter. When working with eggplant many recipes
suggest salting the eggplant and weighting it before frying
it. After salting, rinse the eggplant and pat dry before
using. This step removes bitterness and excess moisture so
the eggplant doesn’t absorb much oil when fried.
slice eggplant, use a serrated knife to easily cut through
the sometimes tough skin.
recipe also uses sun-dried tomatoes. If you’ve never had
them, you’re in for a treat.
tomatoes, are just that, tomatoes dried in the sun or dried
by another means. Once dried, the tomatoes shrink immensely
and become chewy. The flavor is sweet and intense. Sun-dried
tomatoes are a pantry staple of mine. They add depth of
flavor to many dishes including pasta dishes, salads and
pizzas. You also can serve them as an appetizer with fresh
mozzarella, goat cheese or feta cheese.
are sold packed in oil (look for them in the ethnic aisle)
or dry-packed (most often in the produce section). If you
buy the dry-packed you will need to rehydrate them to
tomatoes have an intense flavor, so a little goes a long
way. Today’s dish calls for sun-dried tomatoes packed in
oil. I used a 7-ounce jar of the Alessi brand.
16 wraps / Preparation time: 25 minutes
time: 45 minutes
recipe can be easily halved. Mary McCartney writes that
"these wraps work well as a dinner party dish —
either as a starter or as a main course with side dishes,
such as warm potato salad or sautéed leeks with courgettes
(zucchini). You can assemble them beforehand and then bake
them when your guests arrive, making your evening more
oil cooking spray
medium to large eggplant
1 to 1
½ tablespoons dried mixed herbs
tablespoons sunflower oil or light olive oil
ounces baby spinach
sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil, each cut in half
tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, (regular or reduced fat)
cut into 16 slices
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a sided baking sheet with
olive oil spray or use a nonstick baking sheet.
the woody top off each eggplant and discard. Slice each
eggplant lengthwise into eight pieces (16 in all) about 1/4-
to 1/3-inch thick.
small bowl mix together the herbs and oil. Heat a large
frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches,
lightly brush each slice of eggplant on one side with the
oil mixture and place in the hot pan. Fry until golden brown
on one side, about 3 minutes. Brush the top side lightly
with oil and flip to fry that side, another 2-3 minutes.
When all the slices are cooked, set them aside.
the spinach well in cold running water, spin dry and then
heat in a large skillet to wilt, using just the water that
is clinging to the leaves and drain off the excess liquid.
assemble wraps: Take one slice of the cooked eggplant and
place a little of the wilted spinach on one half. Then place
a few pieces of sun-dried tomato on top, sprinkle with a few
toasted pine nuts, and top with a slice of cheddar. Fold the
eggplant over to form the wrap and place on the baking
sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices. Sprinkle each
with sea salt and fresh black pepper.
for 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
from "Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking" by Mary
McCartney (Sterling Epicure, $29.95).
by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Analysis per 1 wrap.
calories (63 percent from fat), 7 grams fat (2 grams sat.
fat), 5 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 162 mg sodium,
9 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.