Gotta learn sometime, right?
It was a whole lot easier than I thought it would be to make and it came out really yummy! The ricotta was a bit watery, but that sometimes happens when you use part-skim. I was going to chop up sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms to add to the ricotta mixture, but I completely forgot I bought them until I was spreading the cheese on the eggplant slices.
This is vegetarian and gluten free, and makes great leftovers for lunch or dinner for several days depending on how many people are eating it.
by Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick
2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
15 oz. container part-skim ricotta
16 oz. part-skim mozzarella
fresh ground pepper
Cut off both ends of the eggplant, and then thinly slice it length-wise. You can do this one of two ways: hold the eggplant straight up and down or put it on it's side and slice. It really depends on the eggplant, and what's easier for you. One of them I did one way, the second I did the other way. Just make sure the slices are thin.
Place the slices on a dish and sprinkle with a little salt to take some of the water out of them. Set aside for at least 10 minutes. (I let them sit for about 20 minutes, just because I got busy with something else)
In the meantime, chop the basil and garlic into tiny pieces and mix well with the ricotta.
Add a little salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Now we're ready to go back to the eggplant. You could use a skillet for this, or put them in the oven, but I prefer to use my Presto 07046 Tilt 'n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle.
I love it and use it for everything. For this, I set the temperature at 325 degrees, and once it got to temperature, I placed the eggplant pieces on the grill, flipping them twice making sure they were soft, but not burnt.
Let the eggplant cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Coat the bottom a baking dish with hot tomato sauce, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Now, it's time to start rolling! This is the part I was so freaked out about, but in the end, it was perfectly fine, and didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.
Placing the eggplant slices on a cutting board, makes it easier to roll, as well as clean up.
Using a spoon, spread a thin coat of hot tomato sauce across the eggplant slice.
Drop a teaspoon, or two depending on the size of the eggplant slice, in the center of the eggplant and then spread, but stay away from the ends.
Starting at one end loosely roll the eggplant from one end to the other.
Place the rolled eggplant pieces as close together as possible in the baking dish starting from the center and working outward. Repeat until all the slices are done.
Cover the eggplant rolls with tomato sauce and then arrange slices of mozzarella over it followed by another layer of sauce.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.
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