Pan-Fried Eggplant + Tomato Roll with Steamed Broccoli (gluten and grain free, vegetarian)

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Sometimes foods speak to me. That’s what happened this weekend. I was just roaming the grocery store and out of the corner of my eye I saw a heaping pile of eggplant, their beautiful colour and sheen seeming to sparkle under the store’s halogens. They were just So. Darn. Attractive. I couldn’t leave without one, and I’m very glad I didn’t!

On another note, FALL IS HERE GUYS, YAY! It’s time to cozy up in my slippers and eat all the comfort foods within my grasp. Comfort foods that top my list are definitely anything absolutely covered in tomato sauce. I’ll seriously eat anything if it’s covered in tomato sauce, I’ve got a little bit of an obsession.

I’ve never actually had or cooked eggplant before, so I thought if I smothered it with two of my favourite things/comfort foods, (tomato sauce + melty cheese) that I’d like it. Logic.

I was right!

This dish is extremely delicious, and a great alternative for pasta if you’re looking for a gluten-free or grain free alternative.

PAN FRIED EGGPLANT + TOMATO ROLL WITH STEAMED BROCCOLI ~I ate the whole thing cause I was super hungry, but it’s definitely enough for two if served with more broccoli, and maybe a side of herbed couscous or quinoa.

The proportions are also very flexible, so if you don’t want your eggplant very saucy or cheesy, feel free to use less or even more!

  • 1 long purple eggplant
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh or dried basil
  • 1 small head of broccoli

Cut off top and tail of eggplant and slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips. Brush both sides of eggplant strips with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

Cut broccoli into small crowns.

In a pan set over medium heat, place eggplant in and fry until golden and softened, 7-10 minutes on each side. (It’s totally fine to crowd your pan and fit as much eggplant in as possible)

Put tomato sauce on the stove to heat, and begin steaming broccoli.

Remove eggplant from pan and lay side by side lengthwise, overlapping each piece by about 1/2 an inch. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Using both hands, carefully roll the eggplant into a large roll.

Turn pan heat down to low and transfer your eggplant roll to the pan with a spatula. Fry on one side until golden (2-3 minutes) and then flip and repeat on the other side until cheese is all melted.

To serve: Place half the hot tomato sauce on your plate and set the eggplant on top. Pour other half of sauce overtop and sprinkle with basil. Place broccoli on the edges and enjoy!

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