Eggplant rolls with cheese (Μελιτζανες ρολο με τυρι)

A summery tasting dish for all those with access to beautiful glossy eggplants!  

In Greece this dish is traditionally made with mizithra or anthotyro, a cheese that is very similar to the ricotta we have available here in Australia. If you a desperate to create an authentic taste, you could make your own mizithra (you can find the recipe here). The soft ricotta style cheese allows the flavour of the fine herbs to really shine through. However, if you want a sharper, punchier taste you could use crumbled Greek feta in place of the softer style cheese. 

Whichever cheese you choose to use, this dish is a perfect lunch dish for vegetarian friends, along with a simple green salad. It also makes a great contribution to shared table for a big "Greek feast" with family and friends.

Eggplant rolls with cheese (Μελιτζάνες ρολό με τυρί)

Serves 4 

1 kg eggplants (about 4 medium sized eggplants)
1 tablespoon of coarse salt
olive oil

For the sauce
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
1 small wine glass of white wine 
500g fresh tomatoes, grated 
1 teaspoon of Ma's chilli puree 
Salt and or a pinch of sugar/honey, to taste 

For stuffing
300g ricotta, mizithra or anthotyro cheese 
1 cup of finely grated kefalograveria or pecorino  cheese + a little extra to sprinkle over the dish 
1/4 cup Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Mint, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Peel the skin of the eggplant so that it resembles long stripes. Then, cut the eggplant into thin slices (about 0.5 cm thick). Transfer the slices to a bowl of water (enough water to cover the eggplants), add the salt and leave for 10 minutes. Drain the eggplants, squeeze them and then dry with kitchen towels. Return the eggplants to a seperate bowl, then pour over the olive oil and mix them with our hands so that they are well covered with olive oil on all sides.

2. Heat your oven grill and bake the slices of eggplant on both sides. Once grilled, set the eggplants aside on a platter.

3. Prepare the sauce: place a saucepan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté onion and garlic, for a few minutes minutes. Add the tomato, white wine and parsley, season to taste and let the sauce simmer gently for 20 minutes. Set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the stuffing ingredients to combine well. Take your eggplant and put one tablespoon of the stuffing mixture at each end of the eggplant slices. Roll up into cylinders.

5. Pour a little of the tomato sauce into the base of your oven proof dish. Place the eggplant rolls into the dish, seam side down, then carefully spoon over the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a little of the reserved grated cheese. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes, until the top of the dish is browned nicely and the sauce is bubbling. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

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Maira Gall