1 large eggplant
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
5 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temp.
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 roasted red bell pepper, minced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Minced basil and finely chopped walnuts, for garnish (optional)
Cut off both ends of the eggplant and slice it thinly lengthwise. You should be able to obtain 10 to 12 slices, about 1/8-inch thick.
Brush the eggplant slices generously with olive oil on both sides. (Don’t skimp on oil or they won’t cook through.) Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat a griddle pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Grill the eggplant slices until charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. (I used a Panini press. It did the job nicely and cooked both sides at the same time.) Set aside to cool a bit.
Combine the goat cheese, garlic, roasted pepper and walnuts in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if you wish, and mix with a spoon.
To fill the eggplant slices, place about a tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture on the wider end of the eggplant and roll.
Garnish with minced basil and finely chopped walnuts, if you wish. Serve at room temperature with crusty bread.
Makes 10 to 12 rolls.