Eggplant Braciole

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
  • Peeler
  • 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.

After you enjoy your meal, why not read a good book?





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