Eggplant (spinach) Rollatini

Looking at the recipes that I have chosen to share on my blog something occurred to me today… they’re all vegetarian. I assure you this is not intentional… I like meat as much as the next guy (well… maybe not really as much since I don’t “dig on swine” but still, I eat and enjoy a variety of meats). Having said that I bring you another veggie recipe but trust me, you will want to try this and you will never miss the meat element.

Eggplant is not a veg that I grew up eating. My mom, the cook of the house (and a French one at that), did not like it so we did not like it. Or at least we did not eat it. Then sometime in my 20’s, I had eggplant rollatini at a restaurant in NYC’s Little Italy and my feeling toward this purple vegetable was changed. I even managed to convince mom to try it and she liked it! (But only when I cooked it…. it wasn’t like she was going to run out and order some at a restaurant.) This version adds spinach for some extra green and a little unique flavor. So here it is… the recipe that changed an 80-year-old French cooks’ mind about this humble little veggie.

Ingredients:

One or two (depending on size) Eggplants

One package frozen spinach

16 oz Ricotta Cheese (I prefer low-fat but it’s really just a preference)

At least 24 oz marinara sauce (again… we tend to make our own but feel free to use a quality supermarket sauce)

2 cups shredded mozzarella

one half sweet onion, diced

at least 4 med to large size garlic cloves, diced super tiny

Italian seasoned bread crumbs

two large eggs

Directions:
Slice eggplant about 1/2″ thick (long way). Beat eggs in a bowl. Dip eggplant slices in eggs, then breadcrumbs, evenly coating both sides. Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake eggplant slices for approx 30 mins, turning once, halfway through.

While eggplant is baking, saute onion until translucent and then mix with garlic, unthawed spinach, ricotta, salt & pepper to taste* and half of shredded mozzarella.

Scoop ricotta mixture onto slices of baked eggplant about 2/3 of the way to the end. Starting from the end with the cheese mixture, roll toward end without mixture. Spoon enough tomato sauce onto baking dish to just coat bottom. Place eggplant rolls, seam side down, onto sauce. Continue till all slices are rolled. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over rolls and finish with rest of shredded cheese. Place back in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve with crusty garlic bread and green salad. Enjoy!

*Sometimes I like to add some red pepper flakes at this stage. If you are light-handed, you can add just enough so that the spice can just barely be detected… but if you have a guest list of people who love the spice, like me, then add more!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: