These aubergine rolls with spinach, cheese and anchovies are absolutely delightful and super easy to prepare. You can make them in advance and bake when needed. You can also freeze them or pack them in your lunch box or picnic hamper.
The filling is versatile, and I would suggest going strong with flavours. Anchovies and pecorino are the little kings of this recipe, whilst spinach and cheddar are essential for bulking up and create the stuffing the hold the aubergine rolls.
Baked tomatoes will bring everything together, adding acidity to the whole dish and balancing the flavours.
For 4 people, prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes + 30 minutes resting time
- 2 aubergine
- 200g frozen spinach (weigh from frozen)
- 1 spring onion
- 3 anchovies’ fillets
- 50g grated cheddar
- 20g grated pecorino
- Semolina flour or polenta
- 100g baby plum tomatoes
- Salt & Pepper
- Chilli & lemon zest
- Extra virgin olive oil
1. Slice aubergines ½ cm thick, lay the slices on a colander, sprinkling some salt between layers. Let it rest for 30 minutes. You will notice the aubergines have released some water, discard it, pat dry the slices and grilled them on a dry, hot pan. No oil required!
2. In the meantime, prepare the stuffing by thinly slicing the spring onion, chop anchovies’ fillets and, grate the cheeses and defrost and drain the frozen spinach. Mix everything in a bowl with pepper, chilli and lemon zest.
3. Once the aubergines’ slices are cooled, lay them on a chopping board and coat one side with little polenta or semolina flour. Stuff them with a good amount of spinach mix and roll it, from the narrower side to the larger. Drizzle some oil on a baking tray and place the rolls with the open side downwards. Add some baby plum tomatoes and copped aubergine slices that were too small for rolling. Bake it for 20 minutes at 200°C.
– Adding salt to the aubergine helps release water, which will help reduce cooking time.
– Anchovies, cheddar and pecorino, are very salty ingredients. Bear this in mind when seasoning your filling.
– If anchovies are not your thing, swap it for some capers. They will still give the sapidity you are looking for in the recipe.