Involtini di Melanzane
2 MEDIUM EGGPLANTS (ABOUT 1 POUND), TRIMMED AND PEELED COARSE SEA SALT
2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL, PLUS ADDITIONAL TO MOISTEN SEASONING
2 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED
2 CUPS PLAIN BREADCRUMBS
1⁄4 CUP SNIPPED FRESH BASIL LEAVES, OR 1 TEASPOON DRIED BASIL, CRUSHED PINCH OF FINE SEA SALT
1⁄2 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1⁄4 CUP PINE NUTS
1⁄4 CUP GOLDEN RAISINS
Cut each eggplant lengthwise into 8 slices 1/4 inch thick. Layer the slices in a colander, generously salting each layer with coarse sea salt. Place the colander in the sink or over a bowl and let the juices drain for at least 30 minutes to remove excess water. Rinse each slice thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the eggplant, 3 or 4 slices at a time, in the hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes per side. As they are cooked, drain the slices on paper towels. Add more of the olive oil as necessary. Let the eggplant cool.
Combine the garlic, breadcrumbs, basil, fine sea salt, pepper, pine nuts, and raisins in a medium bowl. Moisten with olive oil until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Place 1 teaspoon of the mixture at the end of each slice of eggplant. Roll the slices up and place on a platter, seam side down. Serve at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission fromWhatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? © 2012 by Lisa Caponigri, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co. Photographs by Guy Ambrosino