Dining with the Bloggers - September 14th.

I've been wanting to try a recipe from Niki's in quite a while. She keeps up her fantastic blog, Esurientes - The Comfort Zone - from (from me) far, far away Melbourne, Australia. Only problem - if you can call it that - was that a lot of the recipes I've bookmarked from her site turned out to be cakes. Now how could that have happened? ;-) It's probably all natural - Niki's a great baker, and her tastes in cakes correspond very well with mine! And did you know she has an entire index page exclusively with CHOCOLATE recipes??

The problem was (or is) - and you might think it silly - that I need to make more everyday recipes. It's seldom a problem for me to figure out what I want to bake, but ask me what I'm making for dinner tomorrow night and I'm sure all you'll get from me is a face looking like a question mark! No problemo though, 'cause there was plenty of bookmarks for savory dishes too, one of those being something she just made recently: Eggplant Rollatini. Just look at that picture - if it doesn't make you drool, I don't know what will!

So on a busy Tuesday night, I ran through the supermarket, getting the needed ingredients for making them. At home, I turned on the tv, and in between watching an episode of The Simpsons, I prepared the eggplants and the filling, then in the commercial break, rolled things up, covered it all with passata, and put it in the oven. A breeze. 15 minutes later, I had a nice, warm and filling dinner.

The recipe makes enough food for 8 persons(!) I reduced all amounts "by feel" to make it fit the slices made from one eggplant. I had it with some crusty bread to mop up the sauce, which, as Niki mentions, will of course be of another caliber, should you choose to make it yourself. I did like the convenience of the passata though. The crusty topping and olives Niki has on her version looks good too, and would provide some nice textural contrast (my breadcrumbs had gone stale, hence the lack in my version) I know I'll be making this dish again during winter - it's warm and comforting, but still has a summery feel to it. Yum.

And PS: You could have this for dinner, and then with good conscience try one of her cakes too - just to make up for lost calories, you know ;-)

Don't forget to check out what Cathy's been up to this week!


Niki said…
Goodness me, that's quite a wrap! And links to so many posts; I never had any idea! You know, I nearly didn't post that eggplant recipe bc the savoury recipes on the site don't attract nearly as much interest as the sweet (I wonder why??), but it was something I really enjoyed.
Yes, lots of cake recipes on the site - although I rarely eat them myself, I love creating them and donating them to friends, workmates, church fetes, choir rehearsals...!
I remember you were one of the first people who came to visit my site and left comments; so I'm very flattered to be selected this for this edition of Dining With the Bloggers!
Niki said…
Oh, and I have to say - your presentation is much more attractive than mine. I just dumped all my leftover sloppy filling over the top, but yours looks lighter and fresher.
Cathy said…
You couldn't have picked a better blog to feature! I'm not an eggplant fan, but it's one of those things I've tried to get to like and this sounds like a good way to work towards that goal. I like the idea of tailoring the recipe to one eggplant - that's more my size!
Anonymous said…
Hi Zara - I'm going to love these! Looks so delicious. I miss Japanese aubergines which are much smaller than you get here in the UK and have lots more flavour. What are Danish ones like?
Nic said…
You picked a great recipe to go with, Zarah. I had my eyes on this one, too!
Mona said…
Wow, I'm really excited. I haven't attempted to try eggplant before but I seriously might ..that picture is truly inspiring. Thank you and your friend for this!
Can't wait to let you know how it goes!
Zarah Maria said…
Hi Niki! As I already told you on your own blog, you're not the only one experiencing the "lack" of comments on your savory posts, compared to the amount of feedback you get on sweets! It really is amazing!

I remember your blog being one of the first I really kept up with, and with you baking things that I had imagined in my own kitchen, it was a real treat. I thought it no coincidence when you commented on my Cookbook Meme, that the books I have are ones you want - I truly think our culinary tastes are very alike!!

And please, do feel flattered - that was what I was aiming to do!;-)

Hi Cathy! You should try these, they're are great! I loved grilled eggplants, they're not as unpalatably squidgy as roast/seared can sometimes be... And to overcome that eggplant-phobia - have you tried baba ghanoush?

Hi Keiko! Hmm.. I think the Danish eggplant is very much like the English ones, but they sometimes come in a longer and slender variety. I haven't noticed any difference in taste though...

Hi Nic! Go ahead, it really was easy, quick AND tasty - doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Hi Mona! Do let me know how it goes!

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