Eggplant Braciole With Salsa Verde from The Vedge Cookbook
I purchased The Vedge cookbook last month, and I have been dying to try one of the recipes. If you are not familiar with The Vedge, it is a vegan restaurant in Philadelphia and it is considered one of the best restaurants in the Philly area. The chef and owners are Rich Landau & Kate Jacoby.
I decided to make the eggplant braciole because I have read many glowing reviews about this particular dish. The ingredients are sparse, but the outcome is delicate and delicious. That seems to be a running theme in their cookbook, and they are definitely “redefining” the vegetable experience. You can purchase it on Amazon. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Ps Make sure you purchase a mandoline if you don't already have one. It really makes a difference when you are slicing the eggplant.
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large eggplant, ends reserved and sliced lengthwise on a mandoline into very thin sheets
- 1 head of cauliflower, leaves and stems removed
- ½ cup cooked white rice (I used brown rice)
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup firmly packed baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup Vegetable stock
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp of the pepper. Place the eggplant slices on a sheet pan in a single layer, using multiple pans if necessary, and brush both sides with the marinade. Roast until the eggplant becomes translucent, 4 to 5 minutes, being very careful not to let the edges burn. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Chop the cauliflower and ends of the eggplant into 1-inch chunks. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Spread out the vegetables on a sheet pan and roast until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a food processor. Pulse to a rice-like consistency. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and fold in the cooked rice.
- Assemble the braciole by laying two eggplant slices on a cutting board so that the long edges overlap each other a bit, forming one large rectangle. Spoon about ½ cup of the cauliflower mixture lengthwise down the center seam where the edges overlap. Beginning with a short side of the rectangle, wrap the eggplant slices around the filling by rolling over the mixture. You should end up with four to six braciole, depending of the number of eggplant slices. Place the braciole on a sheet pan and roast until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the salsa verde by combining the basil, spinach, vegetable stock, garlic, capers, lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a clean food processor. Pulse to a pesto-like consistency.
- Transfer the salsa verde to a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until it turns bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Top the braciole with the warm salsa verde and serve.