Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Rolls

This meal takes a little longer to make than some of the others that I post, but it is totally worth it. It's a great variation of eggplant parm (which I also adore). You can stuff the eggplant with whatever you'd like (in my case, just cheese), and you can serve as little or as many folks as you want. My specific recipe serves two, and is a variation of this recipe.

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

One (1) medium eggplant -- My grocery store only had mini ones, so I used about 1 1/2 mini eggplants
One (1) cup of ricotta cheese -- I used the low-fat one, but I don't think it matters. Feel free to make your own ricotta if you have a great recipe.
Two (2) cups of tomato sauce -- I used Bertolli's Olive Oil and Garlic sauce, but again, if you have any homemade sauce on hand, use that!
Two (2) tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of bread crumbs -- I used Panko
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425F degrees.
Slice your eggplant about 1/4" thick each, long-way (not the short-way that you would for eggplant parm). This step works especially well if you have a mandolin slicer (though, I don't have one and it still worked out for me).

Salt your eggplant slices on both sides and sit in a colander. This will let all of the bitter juice seep out of the eggplant. If you skip this step, your eggplant will not taste good.

Let the eggplant
sit in the colander for about 45 minutes.
While your eggplant is salting, mix your ricotta, bread crumbs, and a handful of parmesan cheese together. Set aside.
Once 45 minutes has passed for your eggplant, wash off each slice and pat dry with a paper towel.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and toss in your eggplant.

Let the heat and oil cook your eggplant until it begins to brown.
Remove and place on a plate covered in paper towel to blot most of the oil.
Place a dollop of ricotta mixture on the end of each eggplant slice. Roll the slice up so the seam is pressed into the plate, and it doesn't unroll.
Line the bottom of a casserole baking dish with tomato sauce.
Place each eggplant roll into the dish, seam-side down.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the eggplant begin to roast.
Remove from oven and top with remaining parmesan cheese.
Serve with a small side of pasta, a side salad, or garlic bread.