Zesty Eggplant Rollatini

I know that you want to give into autumn, sit down with a whole pumpkin pie, and pull out your fat pants.

So do I.

Don’t do it!

Resist the urge with this totally comforting and savory dish that is so spicy, cheesy, and melty, that it will make you forget that there are no refined carbs in there. It is gluten free, vegetarian, and kosher, too.

What’s more, it is easy. Take shortcuts with your favorite jarred sauce if homemade isn’t readily available. Choose herbed goat cheese rather than spend time mincing garlic and stripping thyme off h the leaf. Don’t bother salting and draining the eggplant, since the sauce and cheese will cover any slight bitterness

You actually can sit down with this whole dish and eat it, relatively guilt free.

Be sure to slice the eggplant quite thinly – too thin is ok, too thick is like chewing a shoe sole.

Zesty Eggplant Rollatini

Ingredients:

2 eggplants, washed and cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices

1 log herbed goat cheese, room temperature

16 oz. skim milk ricotta cheese, room temperature

1 container mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

1 bunch each basil and Italian flat-leaf parsley, washed and chopped

1 jar your favorite pasta sauce

1 tsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Lay the sliced eggplant on a foil lined sheet and bake at 330F for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. No seasoning, no olive oil, no nuthin. This is solely to dry out the eggplant so its water doesn’t dilute the sauce, and to make it flexible enough to roll.

The finished eggplant will look golden and even charred in parts. Set aside to cool.

2. While the eggplant cools, mix the goat cheese and ricotta in a bowl…

and mix in the herbs. Combine, then taste it and add salt or pepper as needed.

3. Add the olive oil to a pan over  high heat, and when it ripples add the mushrooms. Sautee for 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and have softened slightly.

4. Add the tomato sauce to warm it though, and then…

5. Put a layer of sauce over the bottom of your baking dish. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F

6. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, place about 1/2 tablespoon of the cheese mixture at the broad end of the eggplant, and then…

Roll it…

Up!

7. Place in the bottom of the baking dish, seam side down, and continue rolling until the eggplant and/or cheese is used up.

Don’t worry if the eggplant tears a little or if the cheese seeps out of the ends.

8. Cover with the tomato sauce, and bake for 1 hour, or until the tomato sauce has thickened and deepened in color, the cheese is melty, and the whole dish is bubbling.

This is comfort on a plate. The eggplant becomes velvety and soft, and the skin caramelizes at the edges, turning crispy and sweet. The tomato sauce deepens in color and taste, turning almost piquant and spicy, blending with the creamy ricotta and goat cheeses. The dried herbs and depth and the fresh herbs add a punch of brightness. The finishing touch is the bite of beefy, toothsome mushrooms.


I love this with pasta or garlic bread, and a green salad finishes this off nicely.

Yeah, I know that I said this was a no carb meal.

Maybe you should get out those fat pants, after all.

Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    DD, I am in my bed and now, thanks to this, I’m starving! It looks amazing. Thanks for posting!

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