After several successful dinners since I’ve been back in Oxford, and after a positive reaction to a picture of one of those dishes by my friends and family — I’ve decided to once again start sharing my recipes and hopefully get back into blogging regularly.
Firstly, slice 1-2 aubergines into relatively thin strips. The best way to do this (I’ve found) is to chop off either side of the aubergines. Lay them on your board, cut off the green end and then carefully slice off the right side of the aubergine, then the other side. Then begin slicing to form the ‘roll-up’ strips by cutting as thinly as possible (without being too thin!) — it’s tricky!
Oil either side of the slices / strips and then salt to taste. Place on a baking tray and put in the oven under a medium to high grill temperature for 10 minutes. You won’t need to turn them. While they’re cooking, finely dice 1 onion, a handful of chestnut mushrooms and cook in a little bit of real butter and a little bit of olive oil. Season to taste and cook until softened. Add a handful of roughly chopped spinach until wilted. At this point, you’re welcome to add some minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes and some parsley (I love adding parsley — the greener the better!). Take off of the heat and then set aside.
Check your aubs. and if they’re nearly crispy, take out of the oven and heat up a large frying pan. Leave oven on. Without adding extra oil, add each slice and cook a little on either side. They should be super fragrant now and slightly charred (if you like them that way — I do!). Pour 350g of tomato and basil passata onto the bottom of a roast pan than is relatively deep.
Mix a tub of ricotta with the onion, mushroom and spinach mix and again, season to taste. You’re welcome to add some grated parmesan (having just got back from Italy, that’s happening a lot! Parmesan on everything!) and mix thoroughly. To make them easier to handle, wait for the aubergine slices to cool. Then spread ricotta mix on one side of each aubergine slice. Roll from the narrowest side (i.e. where you cut off the green stem). Place each roll-up onto the passata and top with a sprinkling of parmesan.
I had a bit of the onion and mushroom mix (minus the ricotta) left over so I added that to the top of mine with some grated cheese. Again, entirely your preference. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes at a medium temperature (around 125 degrees celsius). I hope you enjoy! This dish is very moreish and I recommend serving it with some nice risotto — if you have the time! Thank you, Sanj for sharing your yummy risotto with me!