This clever, Mediterranean-inspired appetizer combines thin slices of eggplant with a creamy feta filling, flecked with fresh herbs. Salting the eggplant ahead of time draws out some of its moisture, which gives it a better texture when cooked. Serve these before your main dish, or pair with bread or rolls and a salad for a light vegetarian supper!
Marinated Stuffed Eggplant
|Serves 4-6 (as an appetizer)
- 1 small eggplant (stem removed, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks, skin on)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- Lightly salt eggplant slices on each side and let sit for 20 minutes. Pat the slices dry on both sides with paper towels.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, reduce heat to medium and carefully add eggplant slices, a few at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until tender and golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate to cool.
- Turn off the skillet and allow remaining olive oil to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix feta cheese, fresh basil and parsley. Break up any large clumps of cheese.
- Sprinkle each slice of eggplant lightly with feta mixture and roll up into a tube. Secure with a toothpick and gently place in a small, deep dish or pie plate. Repeat until all the eggplant is rolled.
- In a bowl, add any remaining cooled olive oil from the skillet, minced garlic, red wine vinegar. Using a fork, whisk to combine. Pour over eggplant rolls. Cover gently with plastic wrap (careful that the toothpicks don’t poke holes) and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.