Saturday, July 24, 2010

Roasted Pepper Boats & Vegetable Roll-ups With Goat Cheese

Roasted Pepper Boats & Vegetable Roll-ups are a delicious and healthy appetizer/snack; they could also make a nice side dish or a light lunch. They are very easy to make especially if you have a pesto or chili-tomato sauce on hand. They can be prepared a day or two ahead of time but allow them to warm up to room temperature on the day of serving. Some people recommend salting the eggplant to draw out bitterness; I don't find it necessary. If you wish though - just lightly sprinkle a little salt over the slices and put aside for about half an hour, rinse and blot dry with paper towels before proceeding with the recipe. The veggies may also be grilled or browned on a griddle.

For a vegan option, fill the veggies with a soft spreadable vegan cheese or Greek style thick "yogurt".

Serves 4 - 6
Allow 2 pieces of each type of vegetable per person.


2 Red or Orange Bell Pepper
1 Japanese/Chinese Eggplant
1 or 2 Zucchini
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
6 Tbsp Pesto or Chili-Tomato Sauce
4 to 6 oz. Fresh Goat Cheese
2 Tbsp toasted Pine Nuts
1 small bunch Fresh Basil
Lime wedges to serve


Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare a baking sheet by coating lightly with a little of the oil.

Cut each bell pepper into wedges, slice the eggplant and zucchini into 1/8" slices lengthwise so you have long thin slices. You should have about 12-16 wedges of pepper and about the same number of slices of the other veggies.

Place the veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Brush them lightly with the oil and sprinkle a little salt.

Bake until softened and bottoms are slightly browned - about 5 minutes; Flip over the slices to brown the other side for a few minutes. The cooking times may vary slightly as different ovens tend to vary too. You may need to roast the veggies in batches. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Position the pepper wedges so that they form a little boat. Brush the tops of all the veggies with a little of one of the sauces and place a basil leaf on top.

Divide the goat cheese and pine nuts among the veggies and place on top of the basil.

Roll up eggplant and zucchini to enclose the cheese; pepper does not need any rolling. Place on a serving platter.

Drizzle the rest of the sauce over all and sprinkle with the rest of basil sliced into a chiffonade.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Pass the lime wedges to squeeze over individual servings. Enjoy!

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