Eggplant Rolls with Roasted Peppers

olive oil
5 or 6 japanese eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 ounces semisoft cheese, such as fresh mozzarella, asiago, or monterey jack, chilled
2 large red bell peppers, roasted and cut into julienne
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper in a mill
2 tablespoons minced italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pour a thin layer of olive oil on a baking sheet. Arrange the eggplant slices on top, and drizzle each slice with a little more olive oil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft, creamy, and slightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the eggplant slices from the oven, transfer them to absorbent paper, and allow them to cool.

Cut the cheese into thin slices, and set a slice on each piece of eggplant. Roll the pieces lengthwise, and set the rolls aside. In a small bowl, toss together the peppers, garlic, and 3 tablespoons of the vinegar.

To serve, place the pepper mixture on a serving platter and arrange the eggplant rolls on top. Season with salt and pepper, scatter the parsley over all, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, and serve immediately.



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