Roasted Eggplant Rolls with Spinach and Pistachio Pesto

I hope you all like pistachios, because I am on a bit of a pistachio kick of late.  I discovered that you can buy giant bags of shelled, roasted and salted pistachios at Costco, and without all of that shelling I find myself cooking with pistachios with wild abandon!  We all have to get our thrills somehow.  Fresh spinach and pistachios make a gorgeous cold-weather pesto, which I slathered on slices of roasted eggplant and then roasted them again on a bed of diced tomatoes.

I used a couple of medium eggplant, trimmed and then sliced lengthwise, which I first roasted on their own to soften them up so they would roll into nice little spirals.  For the tomatoes I used completely unadulterated Pomi diced tomatoes.  I am huge fan of Muir Glenn tomatoes, but until they have finished transitioning to non-BPA cans I am sticking with tetra paks for my tomato needs.  If you are not familiar with the problems surrounding BPA, check out this discussion from Scientific American.

The pesto is really simple and is based on fresh spinach and those previously-mentioned pistachios. If you have leftover pesto, just stir in some cream cheese and it makes a wonderful dip or sandwich spread.

Roasted Eggplant Rolls with Spinach and Pistachio Pesto
2 medium eggplant, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch fresh spinach (about four cups), washed and trimmed
1/3 cup shelled pistachios (roasted and salted)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced tomatoes with juice
additional parmesan cheese (optional)

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and layer them in a strainer.  After 20-30 minutes, rinse off the salt.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and arrange the eggplant slices so they do not overlap.  Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and the edges are starting to brown.  Cool until you can handle the slices.

For the pesto, place the spinach, pistachios, parmesan, garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil in a food processor or a blender.  Pulse until you have a slightly coarse paste.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Pour the diced tomatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Spread the pesto on each slice of eggplant and roll up in a spiral.  Place the spirals on top of the tomatoes.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly, then sprinkle with additional parmesan and bake for another five minutes.  Serves four as a main dish.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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13 Responses to Roasted Eggplant Rolls with Spinach and Pistachio Pesto

  1. Diane {Created by Diane} January 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    these look great, I love eggplant and spinach :)

  2. Karen Harris January 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    What a beautiful dish. I'm not a real eggplant lover but this I will gladly try. Glad to know where I can get no full pistacios. My husband loves them.

  3. Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet January 17, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Looks delish!

  4. Cathy W January 17, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    I just showed this to Pete…guess we'll be buying a bag of pistacios at Costco this weekend. :)

  5. Jersey Girl Cooks January 17, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    A great way to eat your veggies. I love eggplant!

  6. Shawn January 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    I love everything about this recipe! I'm sure that I'll be trying it very soon.

  7. Catherine January 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Dear Angela, I just found your blog and your dishes look wonderful. I am now following your blog. I hope that you will visit my blog and follow it if you like it.
    This dish looks delicious and elegant. Blessings, Catherine xo

  8. Chowstalker September 12, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Fantastic dish – thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    Hat to be the bearer of bad news but Muir Glenn is also one of the General Mill brands that, along with Monsanto, are fighting GMO labeling. http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/prop37-poster3.jpeg But lots of other companies are stepping up to the plate, so not all bad news! :-)

    • Angela September 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      Unghhhh. So many companies doing the wrong thing….I did not know that. Disappointing, but I am glad to know. Thanks, Patty!

  9. katie October 24, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I’m all over this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Angela October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      I hope you like it! It’s one of my faves.

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