Tender eggplant with pesto and cheese? What’s not to love!
The Italian tradition of cooking embraces all vegetables, but there is a particular fondness for tomatoes and many varieties of squash. This eggplant roulade features a savory filling of pesto and ricotta cheese, all rolled into pre-baked slices of eggplant.
The rolls are then topped with tomato sauce and sun-dried tomatoes for a tasty dinner that doesn’t rely on carbs. But, of course you can add them if you want! Make no mistake: this recipe goes perfectly with some freshly-baked bread or some pasta or risotto.
To begin making this recipe you’ll need to slice your eggplant into 1/4″ strips that are as wide as the eggplant itself. To get more real estate you’ll want to pick the biggest eggplant you can find in the store.
To make slicing and rolling easier it’s best to peel off the skin from the front and back of each eggplant. That way when you slice there’s no awkward skin to deal with on 2 of your pieces. You can leave the skin on the rest of the eggplant, though, as it will lend a bit of structure to the slices.
I kept my slices in a big bowl of water weighted down with a glass bowl while I sliced the rest of the eggplant to keep them from oxidizing.
You’ll need to make sure that your slices are covered in olive oil before they go in the oven. This ensures they soften evenly as that’s the main goal. Without this step they will snap instead of roll. But, don’t over-bake the slices as they can become mushy quite easily.
Once your slices are done simply place some of the filling on the end of each one and roll them up. I found that even the softest slices still rolled quite well. After adding some sauce on top these are baked again and the result is a flavor-filled dish that’s a real beauty to bring to the table.
20m prep time
32m cook time
Diet: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup marinated artichokes
- 1 (15-oz) can Italian tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. On 2 large baking sheets lay out eggplant slices. Spread olive oil over both sides of each slice. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 14 minutes or until softened.
- While eggplant is cooling combine ricotta, mozzarella, egg, pesto, garlic, and artichokes in a medium bowl. Spread some of filling on each piece of eggplant, then roll up from short end.
- Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce 9”x13” baking dish. Place rolls seam-side down in baking dish. Dot rolls with sun-dried tomatoes and then top with remaining sauce.
- Reduce oven to 350˚F. Bake for 15 minutes. Garnish with parmesan and parsley just before serving.
Recipe adapted from Killing Thyme.