Here’s another super fast and fabulous recipe – Eggplant Rollatini from the March 2008 issue of Everyday Food. I’m absolutely loving the “Zap It” microwave-friendly recipes that I’ve tried from Everyday Food so far. (Asian Chicken with Cashews is one of them.) Anything short on mess and time but long on flavor works for me, especially during the week.
This one isn’t posted online, so here are the ingredients:
1 large eggplant (2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 8 )
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup best-quality marinara sauce
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella (4 ounces)
Crusty bread, for serving (optional)
First, I seasoned the eggplant with salt and pepper. I arranged it in a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish with a lid and microwaved it on high until it was tender and pliable but not fully cooked (about 7 minutes).
I used a spatula to transfer the eggplant slices from the dish to 2 paper-towel-lined baking sheets and then I arranged the slices in a single layer. (The recipe only mentions 1 baking sheet, but I didn’t have enough space.) I blotted the cooking dish dry, spread 1/4 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom, and set it aside.
In a small bowl, I mixed together the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. I patted the eggplant dry with paper towels. Dividing evenly, I spooned the ricotta mixture onto the wide end of the eggplant slices, leaving a 1-inch border on the wide end and a 1/4-inch border on either side. I rolled up the slices, starting at the wide end, and arranged them seam side down in a single layer in the prepared dish. (I did have a little cheese overflow when I rolled the slices.)
I topped the eggplant with the remaining 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, covered the dish, and microwaved it on high for 16 minutes. I sprinkled the eggplant with the mozzarella and microwaved it again until the cheese was melted, about 2 minutes. I let the dish cool for 5 minutes before serving the rollatini.
It might look like an ooey, gooey mess, but this had great flavor (to the point of being indulgent, even). Using eggplant and keeping the cheese to a minimum, though, results in what’s actually a pretty healthy recipe. Dr. O and I really enjoyed this one.
TIPS: I think slicing the eggplant the long way was the hardest part of this recipe, and even that wasn’t so bad. It might be easiest to see if you lay the eggplant down and then slice horizontally rather than standing it up and slicing vertically. The slices don’t have to be perfect anyway. 🙂
Also, I had a hard time believing the eggplant would actually stay rolled once I placed it in the dish, but everything went smoothly – no toothpicks necessary.