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Grilled Eggplant Rolls Stuffed with Spinach and Feta Cheese

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Slices of aubergine, stuffed and rolled, topped with cheese and spinach
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Delicious grilled eggplant slices rolled and stuffed with a savory spinach and Feta cheese filling and baked in a flavorful tomato sauce. This can be a great vegetarian entrée or a tasty side dish to your favorite summer meal.

Note: If you are pressed for time, you can save yourself a step by using your favorite brand of jarred pasta sauce (horrors!) instead of making your own sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise (unpeeled)
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • For the filling:
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. chopped fresh spinach (if frozen – thaw and drain well)
  • 2 red peppers, roasted, seeded, and diced (optional)
  • 2 cups soft Myzithra cheese (substitute Ricotta)
  • 2 tbsp. grated Kefalotyri (substitute grated Parmesan)
  • 4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preparation:

Generously salt the eggplant slices and place them in a colander for half an hour to sweat. The salt will draw out the water and will temper the bitterness of the eggplant.

Prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute. Add the parsley, oregano, tomato puree, sugar, and water and simmer covered for about 20 minutes.

Prepare the filling: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley and spinach and saute for approximately 5 minutes or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine Feta, Myzithra, (Ricotta) grated Kefalotyri (Parmesan), diced red pepper (if using) and the lightly beaten egg. Depending upon how salty your Feta is, you may want to season with more salt and pepper. Fold in the cooled spinach and mix well. Chill the filling in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the dish.

Grill the Eggplant: Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry. Brush them lightly with olive oil and grill over medium high heat turning once. I cooked each side about 5 minutes on our grill.

Assemble the dish: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 roasting pan or baking dish. Place a heaping spoonful of spinach stuffing at the widest end of the eggplant. Roll the stuffing in the eggplant slice and place in the baking dish with the seam on the bottom.

Spoon a generous amount of tomato sauce on each roll and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the ingredients are heated through. I sprinkled some additional Feta cheese on top before baking.

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