Eggplant Rollatini Recipe
Eggplant rollatini (rolled and baked eggplant) is one of our family's favorite dishes. It is basically a twist on eggplant parmesan, minus the breading and frying. Grilled sliced of eggplant are rolled and filled with fromage blanc, then baked in tomato sauce. Eggplant is a vegetarian's delight; the thick slices of eggplant provide a meaty texture, while the fromage blanc supplies a luscious, creamy filling that contrasts with the crunch of the almonds.
The dish takes quite a bit of time to make, but your hard work will definitely be rewarded. It is ideal if you're searching for a great comfort food recipe.
Yields: 10 servings3 regular eggplants
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
4 (8-ounce) packages fromage blanc (see tips)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
6 tablespoons Pecorino cheese (see tips), ground into fine powder
3 tablespoons roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 (19.8-ounce) jar marinara sauce
1-½ teaspoons store-bought no-salt seasoning (blend of 21 spices and herbs)
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (without stems), chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Brush 2 (3-quart) oblong baking dishes with olive oil.
For the grilled eggplant: Trim eggplant and slice lengthwise into 5-6 pieces (about ½"-thick), depending on the size of the eggplant. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to collect the excess moisture). Place the eggplant slices on the rack. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Pat dry using a paper towel. Brush a hot griddle pan with olive oil. Drizzle oil on the eggplant slices. Place the slices on the griddle. Cook until you get grill marks and the eggplant is softened (about 3-4 minutes on each side) on medium heat. Remove from the pan. Set aside.
For the fromage blanc filling:
Using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs with sugar. Add cayenne pepper and nutmeg.
In a mixing bowl, soften the fromage blanc with the egg mixture until you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Season with garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the almonds, 2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, about 2 tablespoons of Gruyère cheese, 1 tablespoon of Pecorino cheese and 1 tablespoon of oil. Set aside.
For the tomato sauce:
In a small pot, heat the rest of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the marina sauce. Add the no-salt seasoning blend and remaining parsley. Adjust seasoning, add more salt if necessary. Spread a layer of tomato sauce in both baking dishes.
Using a tablespoon, place a heaping spoonful of the fromage blanc filling on one end of a grilled eggplant slice and tightly roll up it.
Place the rolled eggplant into the baking dish, seam side down, so the eggplant roll is secure and the fromage blanc filling doesn't burst while baking. Repeat until all the eggplant slices and fromage blanc filling are used.
Ladle the rest of the tomato sauce over the rolled eggplants. It should cover the whole casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining Gruyère and Pecorino cheeses.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes and then broil for about 2-3 minutes to get a nice golden top.
When it's cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
I buy fromage blanc at a local market, called the Milk Pail Market. The address is 2585 California Street, Mountain View, California. If you don't have any, you could substitute low-fat cream cheese, ricotta cheese or chèvre (goat cheese) for the fromage blanc.
I used a store-bought organic no-salt seasoning from Costco. You could add any blend of seasoning to the butter, such as dried basil and garlic, rosemary or marjoram.
Little reminder on how to obtain freshly grated Pecorino powder: Cut up a chunk of Pecorino and chop the morsels in a mini-food processor until it's a fine powder. Gather about 6 tablespoons and reserve the rest for garnish later. Set aside.
Published By: on December 6, 2010.