Eggplant Rollatini

 

Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

 

I’ve eaten eggplant rollatini at a restaurant and loved it,  but I had forgotten about it until recently when I was out and ordered it again.  I knew that I had to try to recreate it at home.  A meal this good should not be forgotten about.

Eggplant is not a vegetable that I cook a lot.  Mostly I make eggplant Parmesean with it, or add it to ratatouille. It’s not way up there on my favorites list.  But prepared in this way…I just love it because it’s crispy, and has a filling rolled up inside it.  Add a flavorful tomato sauce ( homemade marinara is best) and serve with your favorite kind of pasta.  The filling I made works very well for a meatless meal, but you could include some crumbled sausage, or ground beef with the cheese filling.  Chopped baby spinach would also make a great addition.  So here again is a recipe that offers many possibilities for changing up the ingredients to your liking.  Be Bold!   Experiment!  🙂

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Usually in preparing this dish the eggplant is breaded and pan-fried in oil till crisp tender, but in the interest of lowering the calorie content  I elected to broil the eggplant slices with equally good effect. Once baked the edges were crisp, but the centers of the slices were moist and tender.

EGGPLANT ROLLATINI

(eggplant= aubergine, melanzane)

Yield:  Serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_8052

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 egg, beaten with a little water to loosen
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 egg yolk, or use 1 Tbsp. egg beater, egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian blend seasoning
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound pasta such as angel hair, or penne,or rigatoni

Directions:

1.  Preheat the broiler.  Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Dip the eggplant slices in egg, then into the bread crumbs, coating evenly on both sides.  Lay on baking sheet(s)

Dip in egg wash, then in seasoned crumbs.

Dip in egg wash, then in seasoned crumbs.

Lay prepared slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Lay prepared slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

3.  Broil for about 4-5 minutes on each side, till nicely browned, but take care not to let them burn.  Turn over and cook another 4-5 minutes.  They should be browned but pliable, not crisp.

4.  In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, garlic, egg yolk ( or egg substitute), mozzarella cheese, and seasonings.  Divide evenly among all the slices of eggplant and spread evenly.

Divide filling among slices and roll up.

Divide filling among slices and roll up.

Starting at the narrow end of each slice, roll up tightly and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. A toothpick may help keep them rolled.  Pour marinara sauce over the rolls, and top with the 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

Pour marinara sauce over the rolls and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Pour marinara sauce over the rolls and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

5.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is melted.

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6.  While the eggplant rolls are baking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta, and cook as package directs for the type of pasta you are using.  Drain.

7.  Serve eggplant rolls and sauce over pasta.

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SOURCE:   CAROLYN’S ORIGINAL

 

 

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Gardener’s Ratatouille

Gardner's Ratatouille

Gardner’s Ratatouille

What could be better at this time of year than Ratatouille, a vegetable stew.  Using all the fresh vegetables that are so plentiful now, I made up a large pan of this dish.  We love it when I first make it, and we like it even better the second time around when the  flavor seems to get even better.

Extras can be slowly reheated very successfully, but it is actually quite good served cold.  We particularly enjoy folding the leftovers inside a croissant, for a light lunch.  If you wish you can turn this dish into a hearty meal by adding some protein such as grilled sausages during the final stage of cooking.

The ingredients listed provide a guideline;  you can change up the vegetables to suit your taste, or what’s available when you make it.  For instance I used yellow summer squash instead of zucchini.  A red pepper can take the place of a green pepper.  One thing you must do, if making this dish, is use lots of fresh herbs.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any fresh oregano, so I used dried, ( 1 teaspoon),  but I did use fresh basil and parsley.   Fresh herbs make a hugh difference in the taste.

Also, you know how eggplant can soak up a lot of oil, well this recipe only uses 2 teaspoons olive oil to sauté the onions, the rest of the moisture comes from the vegetables as they are cooked slowly while covered, and the eggplant takes on the flavors of the vegetables and herbs it is cooked with.  Also, be sure to cut all the vegetables the same size to ensure even cooking.

GARDENER’S RATATOUILLE

Yield:  6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

    Beautiful Fresh Vegetables

    Beautiful Fresh Vegetables

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups chopped plum tomato ( about 1 pound, or 3 tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chopped peeled eggplant (aubergine)
  • 1  1/2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.   Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion;  sauté 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

Saute onions with peppers.

Saute onions, then add tomatoes

Add tomato, eggplant, pepper, squash, and garlic.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer slowly about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in all the remaining vegetables.

Add in all the remaining vegetables.

2.  When vegetables are tender, stir in oregano and remaining ingredients;  cook, uncovered 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates.

Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

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Serving size:  3/4 cup.   Calories, 91,  Fat, 3 g,  Protein, 2.8g., Carb 16g.. Fiber  4.6 g.,  Sodium 308 mg.

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant, (aubergine in French, melanzane, in Italian),  is a vegetable that I am not overly fond of, and therefore don’t cook it very often.  However there is one dish that I really like and that is eggplant parmesan.  This can be a lengthy dish to prepare  what with slicing and breading, then cooking the eggplant before you even begin to put the remaining ingredients with it and baking it.  In addition, eggplant has the ability to absorb large amounts of oil that it is cooked in,  another reason why I seldom make it.

Eggplant Parmesan and pasta.

Eggplant Parmesan and pasta.

When I happened upon this recipe for EP.Parmesan I really took notice because the eggplant is baked after having been dredged in flour, egg, and panko. There is no oil involved for the eggplant to soak up, and the baked slices come out fork tender with a crisp outer crust.  Then you layer them in a baking dish with sauce and cheese, bake it up, and eat it  knowing you have made a dish that is low in fat ( 9 g. total; 5 g. saturated), yet still very tasty and healthy for you.

This casserole make 6 generous servings, and if you have any left over you might try warming it up, and serving it in a crispy hard roll for a great sandwich.

EGGPLANT PARMESAN

Yield   6 generous servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

    Aubergines from http://www.usda.gov/oc/photo/9...

    Aubergines from http://www.usda.gov/oc/photo/98c0468.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten with a little water (or use egg substitute, i.e., Egg Beaters)
  • 1  1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1  3/4 lbs. eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, plus more if serving with pasta
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
  • 10 – 12 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package spaghetti, cooked according to pkg. directions  (optional)

1.  Heat oven to 375*F.  Using a large baking sheet, line with parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  Place flour, egg whites and panko in separate shallow dishes.  Dredge eggplant slices in flour, dip in egg, and coat with panko.  Place on prepared baking sheet and bake at 375* for 40 – 45 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.

Eggplant slices breaded and already baked.

Eggplant slices breaded and already baked.

3.  Spread 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9 – inch baking dish.  Place half the eggplant slices over sauce and season with 1/8 tsp.  each of the salt and pepper.

A layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish, then eggplant, then more sauce.

A layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish, then eggplant, then more sauce.

Layer with 1 cup of sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and the basil, roughly torn into pieces.

Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and chopped basil.

Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and chopped basil.

Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, salt, pepper, sauce and mozzarella.

Next layer of eggplant in place, to be covered with more sauce and cheese.

Next layer of eggplant in place, to be covered with more sauce and cheese.

4.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the Parmesan over top and loosely tent with foil.  Bake at 375* for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

All hot and melty with cheese.

All hot and melty with cheese.

5.  If desired serve with cooked spaghetti, remaining Parmesan and additional sauce.

Serve with pasta for a hearty, meatless meal.

Serve with pasta for a hearty, meatless meal.

SOURCE:   Family Circle.com/healthyfamilydinners

When in Rome—

When in Rome, or anywhere in Italy, or a good Italian restaurant, do as they do, and eat Italian food. A well-known Italian restaurant in our area features this dish on their lunch-time menu throughout the summer months. I have had it there and loved it. It features a combination of eggplant, tomatoes and onions with fresh herbs served over penne pasta. A while back our local newspaper published this recipe for the dish, and I was so delighted that now I could prepare it at home. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do.

Use the freshest eggplant and plum tomatoes you can find. Also lots of fresh basil or marjoram is key to the delicious blend of flavors. Serve with grated Romano cheese and crusty Italian Bread for a true restaurant-quality meal.

Roast Eggplant and Tomatoes with Penne Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

SERVES 4-6

  • 1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, plus more to sprinkle on the eggplant
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, cut vertically in wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh marjoram, oregano or basil chopped
  • 1 pound dry penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly grated Romano cheese

1. Place cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Toss. Allow eggplant to drain at least 30 minutes. Rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray. Put the eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs in the roasting pan. Pour the 1/4 cup oil over all and stir well to coat vegetables with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread out into an even layer.

3. On the top rack in the oven, roast, stirring occasionally , until eggplant and onions are lightly browned, 25-35 minutes.

4. Meanwhile in large kettle, bring water to boil and cook penne to al dente (7 – 10 minutes). Drain. Immediately add to the roasting pan with the vegetables. Add chopped parsley and EVOO . Toss well. Transfer to a large serving dish. Serve with grated Romano cheese.

When I made this dish just recently, I omitted the pasta and in its place I added some meatballs I had in my freezer.  I browned them in a skillet on the stove top, then placed them on top of the vegetables to finish cooking in the oven. I served the whole thing with a green salad consisting of baby greens, cucumbers and green grapes; and also a small ear of fresh corn. (Still keeping a low profile with those carbs!)

SOURCE: Courtesy of Max A Mia restaurant.