Clearly I love the concept of rolling things in things. There is a pattern here, but since it was not deathly hot out today I decided to get back in the kitchen. I had a eggplant I needed to use, so here we are☺️
I grilled the eggplant ahead of time to give it a nice, smokey flavor. I used a grill pan inside, but it might go faster if you have a good outdoor grill. I just went with a cheapo spaghetti sauce, so just use whatever your favorite sauce is. My cheapo sauce worked just fine☺️
If you have a mandolin slicer, now would be the time to pull that baby out! I do not, so the slices weren’t as uniform as I would have preferred. I don’t think it was very noticeable at the end of the day, so no biggie if yours turn out like mine😉
Today’s recipe would be perfect for meatless Monday. It’s a concept that could be changed up fairly easily according to your preferences. Fresh basil would be a great additional. Or even a pesto instead of the spaghetti sauce – yum😄
- 1 eggplant
- olive oil for frying (I used canola oil)
- spaghetti sauce of your preference
- freshly grated Asiago cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano (I used parm)
- bread crumbs, about ½ cup
- 1 cup ricotta
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Trim the stem end of each eggplant. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut the eggplant lenthwise into ¼-inch thick slices. You should have about 12 slices. Sprinkle the eggplant on both sides with salt, layer them in a colander, and let stand for 30 minutes. Press the moisture from the eggplant and blot them dry with paper towels. Oil the grill pan. Once pan is hot grill each piece of eggplant about 3 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, make the stuffing. In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, ricotta, lemon zest, juice, Italian seasoning and salt.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spoon spaghetti sauce into a medium-sized baking dish (or individual gratin dishes) till bottom of dish is covered in a thin layer. Place a spoonful of filling at one end of each of the eggplant slices. Roll the slice around the filling and place it seam-side down in the dish on top of the spaghetti sauce. Spoon a tablespoon of cream (or less) over each roll to moisten. Bake until the edges of sauce around the sides of the dish are dark and the rolls are nicely caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with the Asiago (or parm) before serving.