I know it has been a while since I last posted a recipe but I can assure you I continue to cook regularly, making mostly Italian inspired plates like my eggplant rolls filled with ricotta cheese, roasted garlic and red bell pepper.
This can serve as a very satisfying side served with a pasta or presented as a first course appetizer. The ingredients are very affordable and the preparation and cooking time varies if you roast your own vegetables and make your own red sauce or purchase roasted veggies and use jarred sauce; for the record I like making my own sauce and roasting my veggies.
Ingredients for this meal include: Tomato / red sauce, Eggplant, Ricotta cheese, Roasted Red Bell Pepper, Roasted Garlic clove, Eggs, Bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Parsley, Olive oil, Italian seasoning, Salt and Pepper.
The first step is peeling and slicing eggplant length-wise and breading it for frying. I use 2 egg yolks with a splash of water, a cup of bread crumbs (panko crumbs also work as a substitute), 1/3 cup of grated cheese, a bunch of chopped parsley with a dash of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. When I bread the thinly sliced eggplant I don’t use flour. I dip the eggplant in the egg and water then I place it into a plate of the combined dry ingredients before adding to a pan with olive oil in high heat. I only fry the vegetable for a minute or two on each side – long enough to help the breading stick to the eggplant. Then I place it on a plate with paper towels to remove the excess oil.
As the eggplant rests, I make the filling that includes a roasted red bell pepper and 4-6 cloves of roasted garlic that I’ve puréed. I stir that with a half cup of Ricotta cheese and black pepper until all the ingredients have combined. Then I take a Tablespoon (or more) of filling and spread it along the eggplant and roll it.
Next, place the eggplant into an oven-safe glass pyrex dish that has a ladle full of red sauce. The red sauce will help prevent the eggplant from sticking to the dish. When all the eggplant has been placed in the dish add more sauce over the vegetable to keep everything moist and to add flavor. Lastly, sprinkle more grated cheese and chopped parsley then cover with foil and add to a preheated oven set to 350 degrees for 25 minutes.