Eggplant Involtini

I have discovered a new recipe that uses one of my favorite vegetables: eggplant! This recipe, called Eggplant Involtini, from Alexandra’s Kitchen is so delicious that I can’t stop myself from making it at least once a week. Make sure to prepare the eggplant (salt the slices so that the water drains) an hour ahead before rolling them with a cheese filling and baking.


Cauliflower Cheese

This recipe is adapted from Real Simple’s Cauliflower Gratin. I didn’t have a few of the ingredients, so I omitted them and it still turned out great.

1 medium sized cauliflower head, cored and cut into small pieces
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring the water to a boil. Place the cauliflower and carrots into the pot and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
2.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with the  flour and stir for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Whisk in the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and cook until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gently fold in the cauliflower, and transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle on top the chopped parsley. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

3-4 servings

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Clean and slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Place in colander and generously sprinkle salt on top to take out excess water from eggplant slices. Leave for one hour. Rinse eggplant slices with water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes on each side.
3. In a baking dish, spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
4. Bake in oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

2 servings

Baked Fusilli Pasta with Cheddar Cheese

When I was living in England, this was all I ate, every single day. Pasta and cheese is a few of the cheapest things you can buy in England, and this dish is simple to make.

1 cup uncooked fusilli pasta
1/3 cup pasta sauce (either store bought or handmade)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Coat ceramic dish with thin layer of butter or oil.
2. Boil pasta until firm but not hard, or al dente.
3. Mix in pasta sauce, butter, hot pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and dried basil.
4. Pour pasta into ceramic dish. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted. Take out to cool and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

1 serving