This vegan dish utilizes eggplant rather than a traditional beef flank steak. It is a nice meal for those days when you want something warm and filling.
- 1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 lb.)
- 1-1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup firmly packed baby spinach
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Olive oil Nonstick spray
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 2 baking sheets
- Small bowl
- Brush or spoon
- Cutting board
- Food processor or blender
- Garlic press
- Sharp knife
- Mandoline (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Peel and cut off ends of eggplant, discard scraps. Using sharp knife or mandoline, carefully slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (about 12 pieces).
2. Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray and divide eggplant slices between them in single layers; coat each slice of eggplant with nonstick spray. Place vinegar in a small bowl. Use a brush or spoon to coat surface of each slice with vinegar; sprinkle each with a tiny pinch salt (1/4 teaspoon total). Roast eggplant until just softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and consolidate eggplant on one baking sheet; set aside to cool. Wipe other baking sheet clean; set aside.
3. Meanwhile, place cauliflower in bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped and resembling rice (should yield about 4 cups). Place cauliflower rice on cleaned baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Coat with nonstick spray; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast until barely browned around edges, about 15 minutes; set aside to cool.
4. Rinse food processor; add basil and spinach, pulse until finely chopped. Add broth, garlic, capers, lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; puree until smooth; set aside.
5. To make braciole, place eggplant slices, vinegar side up, on a work surface; evenly divide cauliflower among slices, piling it toward on short end (each eggplant slice gets about 2 tablespoons). Beginning with a short side of each eggplant slice, roll slices around cauliflower to form small bundles. Carefully place them on baking sheets, seam side down, in a tight row; pour basil mixture evenly over top. Roast until eggplant braciole and sauce are nice and warm about 5 minutes (or broil for 3-4 minutes and then top with sauce). Serve immediately.
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