Turkish Eggplant Rolls

Inspired by Turkish flavors, this vegetarian dish features broiled eggplant stuffed with herb-infused rice and topped with tomato sauce and feta cheese.


Servings: 4
Serving size: 2 rolls (400 grams)
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Eggplant 

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided

Rice

  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1¼ cup (300 milliliters) water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh mint, minced
  • ½ cup fresh dill, minced

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 14-ounce cans low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to broil. Mist a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut off stems of eggplants, steady the sliced end on a cutting board and cut each eggplant lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Place half the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheet, sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and broil 5 minutes per side until lightly browned and tender. Remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining eggplant and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add rice, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then remove lid and fluff with a fork. Stir in mint and dill and set aside.
  3. While rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). On a clean working surface, lay an eggplant slice flat and place ⅓ cup rice mixture onto one end. Carefully roll up and place in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Repeat with remaining eggplant, placing the rolls tightly next to each other. Pour tomato sauce over top of rolls and sprinkle with feta. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes until cheese is golden. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition per serving:
CALORIES 488; TOTAL FAT 15g; SAT. FAT 4g; CHOL. 11mg; SODIUM 744mg; CARB. 78g; FIBER 12g; SUGARS 14g; PROTEIN 11g; POTASSIUM 1087mg; PHOSPHORUS N/A

Note: Nutrition information for phosphorus in low-sodium diced tomatoes not available.


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Rachael Hartley
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, is a Columbia, SC, based private practice dietitian and blogger at The Joy of Eating. Connect with her there and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.