Aubergine Rolls with Fresh Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce

I go to my favourite big farmers’ market every second weekend. The whole return trip together with the shopping process takes several hours, but I enjoy it immensely, even if the weather is awful. The first and most important place I head to is the tiny stall where a kind farmer fills my big plastic box up to the rim with a dozen pieces of delicious fresh organic “cottage” goat cheese. This cheese, spread on a piece of crisp bread and topped with pickled jalapeños is the most frequent light breakfast I have, though I also transform some into a chives spread. I usually eat half of the box’s content during the first week and freeze the other half, defrosting afterwards piece by piece. I always make a bigger frozen stock at the end of the autumn when this farmer’s cheese production stops for several months (even defrosted it still tastes better than any other fresh goat cheese I’ve ever had). As much as I love it, I hardly ever cook with fresh goat cheese, so these rolls were an exception. I’ve based this dish on a recipe I read in Greece : the Cookbook by Vefa Alexiadou, an impressively huge collection of recipes I love leafing through. I made some replacements and changes, the main being the cheese, but I hope I can still claim this dish is of Greek inspiration… and even if not, it is a delicious light dish, perfect for a beautiful sunny summer day.

TIPS: I didn’t have the Greek anthotiro, so I’ve used fresh goat cheese and pecorino the author advises in the absence of kefalograviera. If you don’t have anthotiro or the fresh goat cheese, you can follow the author’s replacement suggestion: ricotta. I find this cheese very bland and am not a fan, so if you share my opinion, I would advise another cottage cheese instead (fresh cow/ewe cheese, but not the one with artificial big “grains” sold in supermarkets).

The dish is time-consuming, but very easy and some stages – such as tomato sauce or grilling the aubergine slices – can be made one or even two days ahead. It’s also delicious reheated, so make a big batch.

Preparation: about 1.5 hour

Ingredients (serves two, if served only with bread):

1 big aubergine, cut lengthwise into thin (1/2cm) slices

300 g fresh/cottage goat cheese, anthotiro or cow’s cottage cheese

100 ml natural yogurt

50 g pecorino (or parmesan)

5 heaped tablespoons of chopped dried tomatoes

1 big crushed garlic clove

salt, pepper


Tomato sauce:

about 400 g tomatoes, skinned (or not) and finely chopped or mixed (you can use of course canned tomatoes instead)

1 big garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon dried oregano

salt, pepper, dried chilli pepper

some more pecorino or parmesan to sprinkle on top before baking

olive oil

fresh parsley leaves

First prepare the aubergine slices. Sprinkle them with salt and leave for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the tomato sauce.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, add the chopped garlic and stir-fry for a minute at medium heat.

Add the tomatoes, the salt, the pepper and the dried chilli.

Let the sauce simmer until it thickens (about 20 minutes).

Pat dry the aubergine slices with paper towels and brush them with oil on one side.

Heat oil in a big pan (you can also heat a grill pan or a grill).

Grill the aubergine slices (the oiled side down) until they are slightly browned.

Brush them with oil on top, flip over and grill on the other side.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Mix the fresh cheese with grated pecorino or parmesan, yogurt, salt, pepper and chopped dried tomatoes.

Place equal amounts of the cheese filling on every aubergine slice and roll them horizontally.

Brush a baking dish with oil.

Place the aubergine rolls.

Pour the tomato sauce on the rolls, grate some more pecorino or parmesan on top and bake for about 40 minutes.

Serve with a splash of olive oil, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and flat breads or simply any good quality bread.

14 Replies to “Aubergine Rolls with Fresh Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce”

  1. I absolutely love aubergine. And fresh goat cheese…I would be in heaven! I freeze regular goats cheese and it’s fantastic so I can only imagine how delicious this dish is. I love that you regularly go to your farmers market, I actually haven’t found a really good one here but I’m not giving up! You are my inspiration.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. Fresh goat cheese (when it’s really fresh) is so close to cow’s cottage cheese I used to eat as a child, I really love it. I hope you’ll find a good farmers’ market. The one we have very close to our house is not interesting (expensive, most vendors are not farmers and people aren’t as nice…) so instead of juste crossing the street I spend half of my every other Saturday shopping elsewhere. And it’s worth it.

  2. My kind of food, anything with aubergines is top for me and the addition of goat cheese makes things even better. You are so lucky to have such a farmer’s market. I discovered one too recently, but it is quite a long drive and they don’t have more than 10 stands. well, at least I can get some garden veggies from time to time, spices and chicken. Better than nothing, I suppose. There is no cheese stand for some reason.

    1. Thanks a lot, Adina. Keep looking, I’m sure you’ll find a nice farmers’ market or maybe farmers selling directly from their farms? By internet? If my goat cheese vendor stops coming, I’ll go and buy at her farm! I’m ready to spend lots of time just to get certain products.

    1. Thank you so much, Katerina! My fresh goat cheese is so delicate in taste (it’s made from young goats, maybe that’s the reason), some friends and family think it’s cow’s cottage cheese when mixed with chives and yogurt and served as a spread! Nonetheless, I’d love to taste anthotiro one day….

  3. I love all of your aubergine recipes, but I think one might be my favorite. It’s like an Eggplant Parmesan without the enormous amount of work and the frying. Your tomato sauce is so simple. I do have some homegrown tomatoes ripening now and they would make an awesome sauce. An inspiring recipe Sissi. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for kind words… I know you aren’t a big fan of aubergines 😉 It’s really quite simple indeed! As the majority of Greek vegetable recipes (maybe apart from things with filo pastry). It would be fantastic with your own tomatoes!

    1. Thank you so much, Karen! There are actually three stalls selling their own fresh goat cheese (not to mention general cheese stalls) but I’ve found the one I like most!

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