Successful Lemon-Shallot Topped Salmon but Rueful Eggplant Rollatini

by Joanne on August 27, 2012

I was running the other morning. It was a really long run so I was out there for quite some time. It was inevitable that someone I knew would see me.  Funny thing about running alone, you get into your own little zone where you’re only aware of yourself, your legs, motivations to keep pushing forward.  So when a friend says “I saw you running down ..such and such street” it seems to shock. 

My first thought is “Gosh! I hope WAS running and not walking!”  My second thought is “No, he/she said “running” but I really hope I was running fast.”  Then of course I wonder about form “Hope I wasn’t bobbing my head, swinging my hips, doing too much of a marathon shuffle….” 

I’m not sure why it seems important to look like a Star STAR Star if someone sees you on a training run.  Chances are those folk have seen us at our worst anyway.  Guess it boils down to ego.  Maybe that friend will pass the word about how great we looked the other morning.  In reality, the only person it matters to is our selves me.

Do you speed up when a car passes you?  Do you try to look your best if another runner approaches while you’re running?  Do you WORRY about how you looked if someone says they saw you?

Successful Salmon

I found the easiest yet the all time BEST recipe for salmon.  No photos because I didn’t plan on it being so good. I should have known better since it was taken from Pioneer Woman Cooks.  The original recipe used Sea Bass and butter. The only changes I made was to use Salmon (removed the skin from the salmon filet) and olive oil.  The salmon was cooked in a cast iron skillet.  It was crispy, sweet on the outside and succulent moist and juicy inside. 

The shallot, lemon and oil sauce which tops the fish is an absolute must.  It’s worth mopping up with a slice of bread. 

Here is the recipe as I made it but the original is found HERE.

  • 3 TBS basil infused olive oil
  • 1 Lemon zested then juiced.
  • 1 Medium Shallot, chopped
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to prepare the salmon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in oven-safe pan over high heat for a two minutes to let the oil get nice and hot.
Place salmon in the pan and let it cook, without touching it, for two minutes. Transfer the pan to the 375-degree oven. Don’t flip the fish! Allow to cook another 8 – 9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Make the lemon shallot oil sauce by heating the oil over medium low heat.  Add the shallot and lemon zest. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes.

When the shallots have softened, add the juice of 1 lemon. Mix together and continue to simmer until ready to serve. Top the fish and enjoy!

Rueful Rollatini 

A vegetarian dish that can easily be made completely vegan by leaving out the egg and cheese. Substitute egg and cheese with nutritional yeast.

rollatini,rudis, pesto4

This recipe was inspired by Chef Del Sroufe out of the new book "Forks Over Knives Cookbook".  The original recipe uses millet and nutritional yeast (optional), neither of which I had on hand. I substituted Farro and added 3 eggs to the filling.

Results of the meal.

My parents joined us for dinner on this particular night and my mother, who likes meat and fried foods (I know, I know…but she is 100% perfect at age 80…something, looks great, feels great…can we knock it?!), did not care for this dish at all. My father, another meat eater but will enjoy more or less anything, enjoyed the flavor but didn’t appreciate the somewhat difficult to chew skin left on the eggplant.  My nephew Sammy (a lover of weekend burgers, pizzas, bacon, …get the picture) cleaned his plate, said "it was good" but didn’t go back for seconds.  As for Ted and myself, we ate two Rollatini and enjoyed the dish. Guess we’re just used to eating "THAT" way. 😉

Decide for yourself. Here is the recipe as served at our table.  Enough for 6

The Sauce:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 TBS minced fresh basil
  • 1 TBS minced fresh oregano
  • 28 oz. can Petite diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Make the sauce: In a large sauce pan over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté onions for 10 minutes. Add garlic, basil, and oregano and cook another 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt and cook, covered for 25 minutes. Turn off heat.

The Eggplant

  • 2 large eggplant, cut lengthwise in 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock/broth

Prepare the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, mix the garlic and soy sauce. Combine the mixture with the vegetable stock to make a marinade.

Put the eggplant into a baking dish and brush with some of the marinade. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over, brush with more marinade and bake an additional 15 minutes. or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool so you can handle them.

The Filling

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup Farro (you can use millet as suggested in the original recipe if preferred)
  • 3 large eggs
  • salt to taste
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped small
  • 1 carrot, grated and chopped small
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, slices
  • 1/4 Parmesan Romano cheese, grated
  • pepper to taste

Prepare the filling: Bring 3 cups water to a boil and add the farro (or millet) and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Add the eggs, stirring constantly and cook another 5 minutes or until desired thickness. You should continue to stir. Remove from heat.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the onion, celery, carrot for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Add the spinach, basil and pepper and cook until spinach wilts then stir in the farro mixture until combined.

Prepare the Rollatini

In a 9 x 13 dish, add 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Divide the farro mixture between the eggplant slices and roll up. If you have extra, simply put the filling in between some of the eggplant rolls. Place the rolls seam side down in the dish and cover with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and top with a mozzarella slice.

Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm.

rollatini,rudis, pesto3

It was good but not worth all the effort to make a second time. Such a shame because it photographed so well.  Sad smile

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1 Comment

  • At 2012.08.29 17:27, Choc Chip Uru said:

    Succesful is right my friend, this looks fantastic 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

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