|Chicken Pesto Rice Salad|
This Roasted Eggplant Rollatini recipe is much lighter than the regular version since it starts with eggplant that’s been oven roasted instead of fried. Using part skim ricotta and mozzarella saves fat and calories to help you keep on track with your healthy eating plan. Adding spinach to the filling is a great way to get an extra veggie into the dish.
But you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing once you taste this outstanding dish. It's a healthy meal that just screams Italian comfort food. Now of course if you're not interested in saving fat and calories you could always dip the eggplant slices into egg and gluten free flour and deep fry them. But then you'll be hard pressed to fit into that bikini.
Roasted Eggplant Rollatini
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
- 1 very large eggplant
- 16 oz part skim ricotta
- 1 cup grated part skim mozzarella, divided
- 1/3 cup grated pecorino Romano (plus more to sprinkle on top)
- 1 egg
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeeze drained
- 1 clove garlic, grated (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups basic marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil or olive oil spray
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (or 205 °C).
2. To prepare the eggplant slices, trim about ½ inch from the top and bottom of the eggplant then slice it into planks measuring between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
3. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil then place them oiled side down onto a baking sheet that’s been lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.
4. Brush the tops of the eggplant slices with the oil and bake them for 10 minutes on the first side then turn them over and bake them for 10 minutes on the second side.
5. Remove the pans from the oven and allow them to cool completely while you make the filling.
6. Stir together the ricotta, egg, pecorino, spinach, garlic, salt, pepper and ½ the mozzarella, until you have a fairly homogenous mixture then set aside.
7. Spoon ½ cup of marinara onto the bottom of a greased casserole dish.
8. Evenly divide the filling among the cooled eggplant slices by placing a large dollop towards the wider end of each slice.
9. Roll the eggplant slices around the filling and place them seam side down into the casserole dish. Once you have them all rolled, spoon additional marinara over each rollatini then sprinkle them with pecorino and the remaining mozzarella and bake it for 30 minutes at 375°F (or 190 °C).
10. When it comes out of the oven let it rest for at least 10 minutes to set then tear some fresh basil over the top and serve.
Notes: If you’d prefer the skin of the eggplant removed, peel it prior to slicing into planks and roasting. It’s important not to salt the eggplant slices prior to the roasting because you don’t want them releasing their liquid and becoming too flimsy to work with.