With the abundance of fresh summer vegetables coming into season I was inspired to make Eggplant Rollatini this week.
There are many ways to make this dish and many recipes on the Internet, but this is my method that has evolved over the years.
3 cups prepared tomato sauce.
One large or two to three medium eggplants
salt for sprinkling
4-6 eggs, beat two at a time
1 - 2 cups flour, or as needed
1-2 cups bread crumbs, or as needed
oil for frying
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
one half cup of grated Parmesan cheese, & more for garnish
one half cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
First, I select a large, glossy black, firm yet not too heavy eggplant. It has been my experience that the lighter in weight eggplant are usually less seeded, and the seeds add to the bitterness that eggplants sometimes have. I'm not sure if there is any validity to my method of selecting the eggplant, but it has been successful for me! I found a very large eggplant this time, so I only needed one, but if you find medium sized ones you might need up to three.
Before you begin this recipe you should also have about three cups of your favorite marinara (tomato) sauce prepared. I don't use commercially prepared sauce -- ever -- but if you like that, use that! If you make your own sauce now is a good time to prepare that and have it simmering while you are preparing the rest of the recipe.
Next, wash and dry the eggplant and cut off both ends to make them flat and to remove the stem. I do not remove the eggplant's skin, but you may if you prefer it that way.
I place my eggplant on a cutting board standing up on one end and with a very sharp knife begin to slice from one end to the other, slicing through it as thin a slice as possible until it is all cut.
Add enough oil (I use canola oil to fry) to cover well the bottom of a large frying pan and begin to heat on medium flame until a drop of water will sizzle.Dip the eggplant, one slice at a time, first in flour to coat, then the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs, making sure both sides are covered with each coating and put them aside on a platter until the oil in the frying pan is hot.
When all the slices of eggplant are fried, prepare the filling. I used two cups of fresh ricotta cheese, to which I added two well beaten eggs, salt and pepper to taste, 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese, one half cup grated Parmesan cheese, and about a half cup fresh parsley, chopped well. Mix well until all is blended.
Preheat oven to 375 F Prepare a 13 X 9 inch roasting pan by covering the bottom with about two cups of your prepared tomato sauce, just enough to cover the pan bottom without any gaps, not too thick in depth.
On one slice of eggplant at a time, spread out about one tablespoon of the ricotta blend. Since I presently have a large basil crop I placed a fresh basil leaf in the middle of each slice, but this is optional. Then roll each slice in jelly roll fashion and place seam down into the sauce in the roasting pan.
Repeat filling and rolling and placing in the roasting pan until all slices are done and then, using a small ladle, cover each roll with the remaining cup of tomato sauce. Sometimes I add a slice of mozzarella cheese over each rollatini, but this time I only added freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh basil.
Cover the roasting pan with aluminium foil and place in hot oven and bake 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly --this may take longer if you have refrigerated the rollatini after making them --remove foil, turn off oven and allow the rollatini to cook a little longer in the residual heat to evaporate excess moisture. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with extra grated Parmesan cheese on the side, if desired. They are delicious!
Melanie of JellyBeanAngel tagged me to list the "Five Things I Love," and then tag five more people to do the same.
Gee -- this is hard, as I love so many things, large and small!
After the big things I love such as my faith, my family and my friends and pets, there are a lot of little things I love, so here are just a few I can think of today:
1) Eating the first juicy red tomato from my garden, still warm from the vine. This is always a special treat that I look forward to every year!2) I love to garden and tend to houseplants. As I mentioned in another post I have city home that does not have much property, or even soil in my backyard, but I have a lot of success growing tomatoes and herbs in large pots. Look at my tomato plants so far this summer!
5) I think you all know I love to cook, and eat, but I especially love to bake! I make cookies by the dozens at Christmas, and I love to try new recipes for pies, cakes and tarts . I just wish I wasn't dieting all the time because I've cut back on baking tremendously lately.
I know this tag has been circulating on a lot of blogs lately, so does anyone want to do this without me tagging them? Please let me know if you do! Thanks!