Grilled Eggplant Roll Ups
Today, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a cooking e-book for Kindle. After all, I enjoy food, I enjoy writing, and thus the two blend well together in the format of said e-book.
What would, or rather, what SHOULD one do when garnering info on what to write about when it comes to Kindle? Does one just dive in head first and hope that what one generates becomes a best seller? Or does one do a bit of initial research in order to add some assurance that the e-book will in fact sell more than one or two copies?
Research of course.
And so I set about doing a little bitty graft on the research side and I came across this rather epic production (epic in terms of a
length because most cooking-type e-books stretch as far as perhaps only 50 pages or less – this one is a whopping 242 pages
long! Industrious or what, me says!).
The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone
Kindle price: $19.73
Paperback price: $13.09
One point to note before I move forth. I was of the mindset that a Kindle e-book would always be priced below that of a hard-copy book, for obvious-ish reasons, right? I mean, it’s easy to produce a Kindle book and there’s no costs involved in it’s production other than outsourcing for illustrations and maybe for the content too if you are not a confident writer. Whereas that’s not the same for a hard-copy – there are other costs involved because it’s a material product.
Regardless, I love the core idea and I love the book’s cover image design, don’t you? The design in itself makes you want to reach for your credit card, but for me, I resisted because so often I purchase a cookery e-book only to find that it’s most thoroughly dominated by meat-based cuisine. Well of course it is, and for me to expect anything different would be and is in fact folly, unless of course the book has a vegetarian or vegan focus.
Well, I don’t want to bore you with Amazon e-books or nothing of that sort. And soooo, my point being here that although I never made the investment in this book, I decided to invest some time researching my next “cooking event a la house of Fatso” with
something of an Italian bent.
I mean… I love Italian food – who doesn’t adore pizza? Who doesn’t adore ciabatta? Who doesn’t adore spaghetti? Who doesn’t adore
tiramisu? You get the idea…
Anyways, of recent weeks (no, not months, but weeks…) I’ve started to buy eggplant very regularly, which incidentally is a fruit, and not a veggie.
Also called aubergine, which is French, and that name is commonly used throughout the UK too, or called baklazhan by the Russians (my ex-wife was Russian and this is one of the few Russian words I now remember, oddly enough), or talong in Filipino (Tagalog, to be more correct), terung in Malay. Hey look at me – I’m becoming quite the foreign dictionary these days
Eggplant is called melanzana in Italian. Melanzana literally means “mad apples”. Apparently if you resided in Italy pre- 15th century (not that I’m suggesting you did ), chances are you’d have reasoned that eating eggplant would have made you crazy, hence the name – melanzana.
Moving onwards, as previously mentioned, throughout my years in Malaysia, I rarely cooked at home, but obviously I was missing out on the delightful home-cooked eggplant experience. They really do make a very fine dish indeed! I mean, even if you do a quick fry-up using something like olive oil or coconut oil (I’ve recently introduced coconut oil to my “hareem” of cooking oils since it’s said to be one of the healthiest) and add nothing but say… a little salt and pepper towards the end of your quick fry-up, aubergine is really lovely and tasty.
I wouldn’t fry in butter though because aubergine soaks up the flavour of whatever it’s cooked in. Best with either a flavour-free “carrier” oil or one that is pleasant to the palate like so many olive oils are. Oh, and for those who like it hot, add a dash of Tabasco here and there of course
So, what with the fact that eggplant offers a gratifying experience to the palate purely on it’s own, there’s no requirement for
anything in order to boost it in terms of enhancing the flavour (other than Tabasco, of course ).
Barbequeing egg plant over hot coals is said to be the best way to cook it, but no doubt that grilling it or seering it on a skillet or
simple frying pan (like the one I have) is also goodly.
What’s more, some prefer to peel the skin off, but unless it’s been charred and burned beyond belief, why do that? The skin offers additional flavour and can be aesthetically appealing even after cooking.
Healthful Benefits of the Eggplant
A very quick round-up of the goodies packed within the egg plant just for your information then it’s time for the recipe.
Very low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Good source for vitamins B6 and K, as well as the following minerals: folate, manganese,
High in sodium, so that’s not so good. High in fiber, so that is good. And one cup of cooked eggplant (I presume that means cooked in water) equates to a tiny 35 calories. Overall we’re well and truly onto a winner here health-wise!
The Simplicity of this Recipe
Really, today’s recipe is oh so simple because I wanted to retain the eggplant’s subtle flavouring to the utmost and actually encourage it out further with the additional “accoutrements” – the mozzarella, the tomatoes, the olive oil, a little lemon juice (or in my case calimansi juice which is similar to a lime), and some salt and freshly ground black pepper to finish it off rather nicely.
- 2 medium eggplants
- ¼lb (115g) fresh mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Slice your eggplants lengthways into ¼ inch thick pieces and sprinkle with salt.
- Pre-heat the grill, arrange the eggplant slices on the grill rack and brush one side of each slice with a little olive oil.
- Grill for about 5 minutes. Turn over and repeat (the slices should be golden and softened). Set aside to cool slightly.
- Chop the fresh mozzarella into small chunks and do the same with the tomatoes.
- Add the mozzarella and tomatoes to the eggplant slices and top with some salt and pepper to taste in addition to a drizzle of olive oil.
- Roll the eggplant slices and tie with the basil leaves.
- Serve immediately.