Aubergine rolls

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aubergine rolls.jpgIngredients: 1 large aubergine, about 340g cut lengthways into 10 slices, each about 3mm thick, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 onion, thinly sliced,   4 garlic cloves, chopped, ½ red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips, ½ green pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips, 1 courgette, cut into thin strips, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 6 tomatoes, diced pinch of sugar, 200 ml tomato puree, 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 170 g mozzarella cheese, diced, 8 black olives, stoned and chopped, salt and pepper, sprigs of fresh basil to garnish.

Method:

Dice the 2 outer (end) slices of aubergine, with the peel, and set aside to add to the filling. Use 2 tsp of the olive oil to brush the remaining 8 aubergine slices sparingly on both sides. Heat a ridged griddle or frying pan and brown the aubergine slices for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are tender but not soft. Set aside on a board. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onion, half of the garlic, the red and green peppers, courgette and reserved diced aubergine for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the parsley and half of the diced tomatoes, and continue to cook for a further 5–6 minutes. Season the vegetable mixture, add the sugar and pour in the tomato puree. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is richly flavoured and thickened. In a bowl, combine the remaining garlic and diced tomatoes with the chopped basil, mozzarella and olives. Set this topping mixture aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4. Lightly season the aubergine slices. Place a generous portion of the braised vegetable filling at the wider end of one slice and roll up to enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining aubergine slices and filling, placing the rolls side by side in an ovenproof dish. Spoon the tomato and mozzarella mixture evenly over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese topping has melted. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve hot or warm.