Let the good times roll
I’ve come to realise that I’m not alone when it comes to choosing my least favourite vegetable – Aubergine! Aubergine seems to be on top of many people’s least favourite list.
But in this recipe it works. The trick is slicing the aubergine really thin and then adding cheese, herb oil and tomato sauce. Makes a delicious lunch for two. Albeit, slicing and rolling the aubergine takes some more effort so probably more suited for the weekend.
This dish brings a smile on my face as it reminds me of some of the good times during this weird year of 2020. I’ve made it trying to keep myself busy and not worry so much about everything happening around me with the family and the world in general. Just focusing on slicing and rolling those aubergines and not let my mind think about anything else. Taking about 20 minutes, this is a project that helps me to focus just on the task in hand and nothing else.
We’ve had this dish numerous times in our garden this Summer and it really is a delightful summery treat. But I see no reason why it couldn’t be enjoyed during the darker months too. With a deep, delicious tomato sauce and fun aubergine cheese rolls it can brighten up any day.
Here’s my theory – when you feel anxious about things in your life and especially if you feel like your thoughts are going around in circles and you can’t quite pull yourself out of it, then find something else to do to break the pattern. Something that you have to focus on like slicing and rolling these aubergines. That process should give you a nice break and afterwards you can enjoy a delicious meal to help you feel even better. It often works for me.
Try making this dish when you’re feeling anxious. It gives you something else to do and a fun dish to enjoy.
Also, try these Halloumi aubergine rolls if you are not the biggest fan of aubergines. When you’ve got that sad aubergine sitting in your veg box which you don’t really know what to do about as you never feel like eating an aubergine. You might just have a change of heart.
- 1 aubergine
- 1 packet of halloumi (ca 200g)
- 1 can of tinned tomatoes (ca 250g)
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp sugar
- A handful of fresh thyme
- Salt & black pepper
- Heat up on oven to 200C.
- Wash the aubergine and cut in half lengthwise, then cut again in half lengthwise. Slice the aubergine using either a cheese slicer or a mandolin. This is the tricky part of this recipe as the slices should be as thin as possible. But don’t worry if they are not perfect, as long as they are thin even the worst slices can be wrapped around the halloumi.
- Cut the halloumi in small pieces.
- Prepare the herb oil by finely chopping the fresh thyme and in a small bowl mixing it together with ca 2tbsp olive oil and 1tsp each salt and black pepper
- Finely chop the garlic and heat up a pan with 1 tbs olive oil (if you have an oven proof frying pan then use that). Quickly sauté the garlic (careful not to burn it) and then add the tinned tomatoes. Season with some salt, black pepper, a pinch of sugar and some extra thyme. Bring to boil and then take off the heat. Check seasoning and let rest.
- Take an oven proof pan or use the same pan as above if oven proof. The tomato sauce is going to form a base for your dish.
- One by one roll the aubergine slices around the halloumi pieces and position the rolls in your pan pushing them tightly together so that they don’t open.
- Once all the rolls are in the pan, top the whole dish with the herb oil. Make sure to sprinkle the oil on top of all the aubergine rolls for taste and to make sure they don’t burn.
- Bake in the oven for ca 30 minutes or until the aubergine feels soft.