Eggplant, Smoked Mozzarella, and Basil Rolls

Serves 4

1 large eggplant

3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)

6 oz. smoke mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices

2 plum tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices

8 large basil leaves

Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the eggplant lengthways into 10 thin slices and discard the two outermost slices.  Sprinkle the slices with salt and leave for 20 min. (Salting the eggplant first not only draws out any bitter juices, it also makes the flesh denser, so that less fat is absorbed during cooking.)  Rinse, then pat dry with paper towel.  Preheat the broiler and line the rack with foil.  Place the eggplant slices on the grill rack and brush liberally with oil.  Broil for 8-10 min. until tender and golden, turning once.  Remove the eggplant slices from the broiler, then place a slice of mozzarella and tomato and a basil leaf in the center of each eggplant slice, and season to taste.  Fold the eggplant over the filling and broil seam-side down until heated through and the mozzarella begins to melt.  Serve drizzled with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, if using.

Taken from Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook, Ed. Nicola Graimes.

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