Aubergine involtini with ricotta, raisins, pine nuts & rocket salad recipe image

Print Aubergine involtini with ricotta, raisins, pine nuts & rocket salad

Involtini generally refers to something rolled up in thin strips of something else, in this case aubergine. Don’t worry if the aubergine seems a little undercooked after you have fried it. It makes it easier to stuff and roll and will finish cooking in the heat of the oven. The ricotta we sell is made using sheep’s cheese by High Weald dairy in Sussex.

Ingredients

  • 30g raisins
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 aubergines
  • 200g baby spinach
  • Oil for cooking, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 700g jar passata
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 125g ricotta
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 50g Italian style cheese
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 50g rocket
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6. Soak the raisins in a few tablespoons of warm water. Zest and juice the lemon. Peel and finely chop or crush the garlic clove.
  2. Remove the green top from the aubergines. Cut them lengthways into half cm strips. You’re hoping for at least 6 strips from each aubergine. Rub them on both sides with oil and season with salt.
  3. Wash the spinach thoroughly, drain it well. Put the frying pan on to a medium heat. Add the wet spinach and cook briefly until it has just wilted, about 1 minute. Tip the wilted spinach into a colander to drain and cool.
  4. Give the pan a quick wipe clean. Return to the heat and toast the pine nuts in the dry pan for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove the pine nuts and add some oil.
  5. Fry the aubergines on both side until lightly browned. You’ll need to do this in batches, adding more oil as you do so. Put two thirds of the passata (about 400g) in the saucepan. Add the vinegar, half of the chopped garlic and 100ml of water. Place on a low heat to warm through and simmer.
  6. Meanwhile make the filling. Remove the raisins from the water and chop them roughly with the pine nuts. Squeeze as much water as you can from the spinach and roughly chop that too. Place the raisins, pine nuts and spinach in a mixing bowl.
  7. Crumble in the ricotta, mint, lemon zest, remaining garlic and half the Italian cheese. Season with salt, pepper, a light grating of nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon juice to suit your taste.
  8. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto the end of each slice of aubergine and gently roll them up. Pack them into the roasting tray in neat rows. Check the seasoning of the passata and adjust with salt and pepper, spoon evenly over and around the aubergine. Sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  9. While the involtini cooks, wash and dry the rocket. Just before serving, dress it with lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Cooks notes

You can play with the stuffing ingredients by adding any any variety of chopped nuts, herbs and dried fruits.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes