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Involtini di melanzane grigliate – Grilled Aubergine Rolls

The best way to start an alfresco dinner party with a group of friends on a hot summer evening is with a series of small antipasto’s to stimulate your guests’ appetite. This can be achieved with a variety of hot and cold small dishes, cheeses, olives and cured meats, but here is an original Italian antipasto idea that won’t take too much time to prepare. Also aubergines are a great choice for this time of the year, as well as being an extremely versatile ingredient which can be used as a starter or as a base for pasta sauces, baked dishes and main courses.

The Italian version
2 melanzane
1 mozzarella
3 pomodori
150 gr di prosciutto cotto
Pepe nero
Olio extra vergine d’oliva

Pulite le melanzane e tagliatele a fette di circa ½ cm nel senso della lunghezza. Ponetele in un colapasta, salate ogni strato e lasciate spurgare per circa 30 minuti. Dopo risciacquate le melanzane, asciugatele e grigliatele per circa 3-4 minuti per lato su una griglia incandescente. Una volta raffreddate, stendete su ciascuna fetta il prosciutto cotto, una fetta di mozzarella (preferibilmente di bufala) e una fetta di pomodoro tagliata sottile. Condite con sale, pepe, un filo d’olio e un po’ di origano. Arrotolate con cura l’involtino e fissatelo con uno stuzzicadente. Ponete gli involtini in una padella antiaderente e riscaldate per qualche minuto finché la mozzarella non si sarà sciolta, quindi servite

The English Translation
2 aubergines
1 mozzarella
3 tomatoes
150g of ham
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Clean the aubergines and cut into approximately ½ cm thick slices lengthwise. Lay the slices in a strainer, sprinkle each layer with salt and leave to drain for approximately 30 minutes. Then rinse the aubergine slices, dry and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side on a red hot grill. Leave to cool down, then lay some ham, 1 mozzarella slice (preferably buffalo) and 1 thin slice of tomato on each aubergine slice. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and some oregano. Carefully roll up each slice and secure with a toothpick. Lay the rolls in a non-stick pan and heat up for a couple of minutes until the mozzarella is melted, then serve.

As follows is an Italian translation into English of some of the key terms found in this recipe
Melanzana – Aubergine
Pomodoro – Tomatoe
Prosciutto cotto – Ham
Origano - Oregano
Pepe nero – Black pepper
Olio extra vergine d’oliva – Extra virgin olive oil
Stuzzicadente – Toothpick