Date and feta-stuffed eggplant rollatini

March 15, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Soyeon Park
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 2-3
Author Notes

This hearty eggplant casserole is a Middle Eastern-riff on the Italian eggplant rollatini. Instead of the usual ricotta-herb filling, this recipe uses a tangy, sweet and crunchy filling made of dates, feta, ricotta, and pine nuts to stuff the eggplant slices. Then they are baked in a tomato sauce spiked with cumin and Aleppo chili flakes, which add depth and excitement to the sauce. The long list of ingredients for the sauce may come across as intimidating, but all the herbs, aromatics, and spices build layers of depth and flavor. If you're in a hurry, though, feel free to skip the process of making it from scratch by using store-bought marinara sauce mixed with cumin and Aleppo chili flakes. Serve the rollatini with a piece of good crusty bread to soak up all the flavorful sauce - a comfort food at its best. —Soyeon Park

What You'll Need
  • Date and feta-stuffed eggplants
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise (1cm-thick)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Grated parmesan, to serve
  • Spiced tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon Aleppo chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, puréed
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Salt the eggplant slices and let sit for 5 minutes. Absorb excess moisture with a paper towel.
  2. Drizzle the eggplant slices with olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake for about 15 minutes until softened. Cool slightly (leave the oven on).
  3. While the eggplants are baking, make sauce: On a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook shallots, garlic, rosemary, and oregano with a pinch of salt until translucent and softened. Add tomato paste, sugar, cumin, and Aleppo chili flakes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with wine, and stir in puréed tomatoes. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened into a sauce. Pour the sauce into a 2-quart baking dish.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, combine feta, ricotta, yogurt, dates, pine nuts, and pepper in a bowl. Add about 2 tbsp of the mixture to one end of the eggplant slices, and roll it up. Nestle the rolls into the sauce, and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the eggplants are slightly browned. Top with grated parmesan to serve.

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