When I first came to the United States as a grad student, my university paired me with a host family who had generously volunteered to help and orient a new foreign student in their city. The Taubes were a wonderful family and I enjoyed learning about the American life through them.
It was at my host family’s place that I had eggplant rollups for the first time. Till then I had only had eggplant, or baingan as we call it in India, in the form of the fire-roasted Bhartha, or the stir-fried Aloo-Baingan. This new dish was a revelation for me as I had never realized that our Baingan Raja could taste so sophisticated, yet earthy at the same time.
Many years later, as I was remembering that wonderful taste, I wrote an email to my hostess and asked her if she could share the recipe with me and here is the recipe that she sent to me. Thanks Michelle! 🙂
“We slice the eggplant length wise about 1/4 inch thick then brush it with olive oil and add garlic and herbs if you like such as rosemary, thyme or oregano. Then put it on a baking sheet and broil it briefly on each side until soft but be careful not to burn. Place a piece of oil packed sundried tomato, a basil leaf and some blue cheese on one end and then roll it up. A toothpick to secure it is optional.”
I sometimes substitute the bleu cheese with goat cheese. Any soft cheese with a strong flavor will do. Also remember to season the eggplant with salt and black pepper before broiling it.