Healthy (Baked, No Breadcrumbs) Eggplant Rollatini
Prep time: 25 min., Cook time: 55 min.
Indulgent dishes can be healthy! The cheese is the place to splurge in this recipe which can be balanced out by keeping the olive oil amount down & using a very low fat tomato sauce.
- 3 medium-sized Italian eggplants (about 4 pounds total)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil spray or olive oil
- 24 ounces ricotta cheese (for the tastiest dish, it's best to use freshly made ricotta)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 oz shaved Parmesan (for the tastiest dish, it's best to use Parmesan Reggiano & shave it yourself)
- 15 basil leaves, chiffonaded
- 2-3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce made from scratch or jarred (A spicy sauce like an arrabbiata really makes this dish pop. I like a lot of sauce so prefer 3 cups.)
- Preheat a large grill pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place a rack over a large baking sheet or tin foil on the counter. (If you have 2 or 3 sets of these even better. Otherwise, you'll have to do steps 3 & 4 a few times.)
- Cut the 2 ends off the eggplants & peel them. Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices. Consistency is the key here for even cooking, but it's ok if they don't match or are ragged on the ends.
- 4Arrange the eggplant slices onto the rack. Sprinkle both sides generously with sea salt to help remove excess moisture & any bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt from the eggplants & pat very dry with a towel.
- Spray the hot grill pan liberally with vegetable spray (or use a small amount of olive oil) & then place eggplant slices on the grill. Cook until lightly browned on each side about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove slices from the grill pan & allow to cool. Repeat until all eggplant is cooked.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until well scrambled. Season with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
- Mix the ricotta in with the egg. Add the shaved parmesan cheese & gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not over mix.
- Grease a large 13x9 inch baking dish with a little olive oil. Place approx. a TBSP of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant & roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini into the dish seam side down. Continue with remaining eggplant pushing them tightly together so they all fit.
- Evenly distribute the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 375 F. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving so cheese sets.
Makes about 10 servings
The nutrition info is wholly dependent upon what cheese you use, what sauce you use & how much oil. On the days I don't mind a slightly higher fat count, I use great quality whole milk cheeses which makes it taste wonderful & can be offset by less oil & a lower fat sauce. I'm also trying to get my new grill pan up to par so I had to use 2 tsp of oil to ensure that the eggplant wouldn't stick (+ 1/2 tsp in the baking pan). If you have a good grill pan, then you shouldn't need to use so much oil.
I included what the counts are with whole milk cheeses, 2.5 tsp of olive oil & 3 cups of a low fat spicy tomato sauce.