Would you ever think of zucchini and eggplant as appetizers?? Well, we are crazy enough to do so in our kitchen and so now present it to you guys.
Eggplant is quite commonly cooked by a lot of us in our kitchens. At times accompanied with potatoes or else mashed eggplants with tomatoes and onion (what we usually call as Baingan Bharta) is often part of our main meals. Zucchini, which is botanically an immature fruit, is however treated as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savoury dish or accompaniment.
But in our kitchen, we have a great way of using these summer veggies.
Friends, there are times when a recipe falls into place so beautifully that you think some greater force must surely be at work. Divine inspiration struck us when a massive zucchini appeared in front of our eyes as an accompaniment with one of our favourite dishes when we were out for lunch last Tuesday. We swear it was not what we had in our minds to share with you all… at least for now. We were set with other plans. Though we both are fond of zucchini and have eaten it a lot many times, but I guess there was something about that day. As the zucchini was quite big, we cut it into half and shared. I was bit too full so was slowly rolling it down to make that extra space in my tummy, when Parul gave me those looks like she was saying “What’s cooking Missy?? Are you thinking what I am thinking?” Well we are way too similar to ever think differently. And I shook my head saying yes. I rolled the zucchini nicely making a hollow space and while doing so we went on discussing… “We can fill it with something… let’s present it as a snack… No may be a sizzler…or may be both…But sizzler needs variety…” that’s when we thought of clubbing it with eggplant. I’m still laughing thinking how crazy we have become …We sat for an extra hour with half zucchini on my plate deciding a recipe we shall call Legen…wait till you read it all and try in your kitchen….dary “Legendary”.
This is a Great way to use these summer squash zucchini and eggplants. These delicious rolls are perfect for parties and holidays. Also, zucchini not only offers delightful taste and adds texture to many dishes, but also carries with it many health beneﬁts.
Zucchinis are especially rich in calcium, such that zucchini juice has, at times, been recommended to the lactose-intolerant as a milk substitute. Zucchini juice is also known to be a total body cleanser. With its many nutrients, as well as its antioxidants, it can cleanse the body of toxins and free radicals; thus, it is known as an anti-aging juice 🙂 Does that ring a bell 😉 It fights certain negative effects associated with aging, such as memory loss, blurred vision, puffy and swollen eyes, and bruising easily. It also cleanses the kidneys and blood vessels, preventing kidney diseases, preventing the buildup of excessive uric acid, and lowering cholesterol levels. It even has anti-inflammatory properties, thus helping prevent gout and asthma. And because of its cleansing properties, as well as its low calorie content, this juice is considered to help promote weight loss and to increase metabolism. It is therefore highly recommended for those on a diet. Even better is that the cleansing effect of this juice gives it calming and soothing properties, so those who want to chill out and relax are encouraged to grab a glass of this juice. Preventing cancer aside, they can also reduce the risk of clogged arteries and blood vessels, thanks to the presence of magnesium and potassium. Ahhh…This indeed is a miracle vegetable 🙂
Eggplant or Brinjal, is also a very low calorie vegetable and has a healthy nutrition profile, so good news for weight watchers!
So we present to you this creation which is as fresh as last Tuesday. It was super spontaneous and will remind us of that day each time we prepare this in our kitchen which will be quite often I guess, we so loved it.
These would be perfect to serve as an appetizer or on top of a plate of greens. And they make just a perfect meal when presented as a sizzler along with some pasta with some veggies on the side 🙂
1. Boil water in a large pot. Add salt, oil and pasta to it. Cook pasta, al dente. Keep aside in a bowl.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and sauté till translucent. Mix in the bell peppers and sauté till wilted. Remove from fire and keep aside.
3. Grill the vegetables: Sprinkle salt on zucchini and eggplant slices. Brush them lightly with olive oil and pan grill over medium heat turning once.
4. Prepare the filling: Mix all the ingredients for the filling together. Spread chili sauce evenly on the zucchini and eggplant slices respectively.
5. Place a heaping spoonful of the filling at the widest end of the zucchini. Roll the stuffing in the zucchini and eggplant slice and put a tooth pick so that the roll remains intact. Garnish with mint sprigs.
6. Prepare the sauce: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Mix in green chilies, chopped tomatoes and sauté till water evaporates. Add chili powder, salt, oregano, tomato sauce and water and simmer until thick. Keep aside.
7. To Assemble: Heat two sizzler iron plate to red hot. Place them on the wooden tray. On the sizzling plate, lay a leave of cabbage. Divide the onion capsicum mixture into half and put on one side of each sizzler plate and place pasta on the other side of each plate. Place the zucchini and eggplant rolls in the center of the plate. Pour some of the sauce over the rolls and around the pasta.
8. Pour oil-water mixture over the iron plate to get the sizzling effect. Serve immediately with sauce.
Try it over the weekend and we bet you will love it. But yes, the only problem might be that you may have to cook a little bit extra, because if you are like us then you will eat all of it off the plate by yourself over a span of an afternoon.
Have a Happy Weekend!
Sakshi & Parul