Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's Do Brunch - Grilled Eggplant Roulades

I know some of you are planning a nice Easter Brunch for this weekend. Here's a dish you might want to consider adding to your menu. Eggplant fills in quite nicely in place of meat in this elegant rolled-up dish. It's perfect for brunch with hollandaise sauce, and would be just as nice for dinner with a marinara or vegan alfredo sauce. I served it up this time with oven roasted potatoes... mostly so we'd have another vehicle for the hollandaise.

Grilled Eggplant Roulades
makes 6 rolls - serves 2-3

1 medium eggplant, washed and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, lengthwise
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
24 thin asparagus stalks
hollandaise sauce
toasted pine nuts for garnish

Make the Hollandaise Sauce first. Lightly toast the pine nuts called for in the recipe, and reserve a few for the garnish. Warm the sauce slowly while you make the roulades.

Preheat oven to 350º
Grill the eggplant slices on a grill pan or outdoor grill. When using smaller sized eggplants, there's really no need to peel or salt them before cooking. I used my heavy cast iron skillet as a weight, and the slices cooked perfectly, with nice grill marks.

Set the cooked eggplant aside, and cook the asparagus in the grill pan with a little bit of garlic powder and a light spray of olive oil if you like.

Lay a slice of eggplant on a plate or cutting board, and spread a thin layer of quinoa over it. Drizzle a little bit of hollandaise over the quinoa. Add a bit of basil, a few slices of sun dried tomato, and (4 or more) pieces of asparagus. Roll the eggplant around the fillings, so the asparagus spears peek artfully out of the sides.

Place the finished roulades in a baking pan, and place in a 350º oven for 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the hot roulades to plates, and ladle hollandaise over them. Garnish with extra basil and a few toasted pine nuts.