Monday, June 29, 2015

Roasted Summer Herb Eggplant Rollups

"What can I do with eggplant?"  This is a question I have been hearing my clients ask often in the past couple weeks.  And it's no big surprise as to why.  This is the time of year when the large aubergine vegetables are hanging heavy on the plants in home gardener's back yards... or where you see several different varieties at the local farmer's markets!  

Beautiful to look at... and delightful to eat!  And while I am always a fan of a nice roasted eggplant ratatouille, one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant is to use them in place of lasagna noodles for a yummy Italian style dish.  This is a great option for meatless Mondays!  While this is an old favorite of mine, the recipe is adjusted slightly to use even more of the delicious summer herbs I have growing in my garden!

Once you select your gorgeous eggplants, thinly slice them lengthwise, add some olive oil, and roast to soften.

Meanwhile, make your filling: just a quick stir of ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, spinach, basil, oregano and parsley, plus a pinch of salt and pepper.

 Assemble your roll ups...

Then, top with marinara and bake until bubbly and delicious!

Serve with a colorful green salad... yum yum!

Roasted Summer Herb Eggplant Rollups
Makes 6 servings: 3-4 rolls ups per serving

2 medium eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2Tb chopped fresh parsley
1Tb chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups homemade or store-bought marinara

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat baking sheet with non stick spray.  Lay eggplant slices out evenly on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2Tb olive oil and spread evenly on eggplant with fingers.  Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until tender.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together ricotta, mozzarella, chopped spinach, basil, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly coat 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.  
  4. When eggplant is cool enough to handle, place 1 rounded Tb cheese mixture at the end of each eggplant slice.  Roll eggplant up into a roll with the cheese inside.  Place eggplant rolls in prepared baking dish side by side.  Pour marinara sauce over top.  Bake in preheated oven until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving: 303 calories, 16gm fat, 23gm carbohydrates, 17gm protein