My child has started talking. And by talking, I mean that she says, “Dada,” which is so heartbreaking for her mama. She doesn’t associate what she is saying with Jake, but it still hurts. Except for when she screams “Dadada” when she’s angry. That’s when I get my sweet revenge. But she’ll forever be a daddy’s girl, so my pleasure is short-lived.
Eggplant is Jake’s favorite (as I noted when I made eggplant parmesan). I like it too, but really, I’m in this dish for the cheese. Which is why I didn’t make this recipe to be served as neat individual roll-ups. I took all of the extra cheese left over after stuffing the eggplant strips and shoved it into every possible opening in the baking pan. Because, in my world, the eggplant here is just a delicious vehicle.
There are three tricks that I learned while making this dish: 1) Slice the eggplant thin. Thinner than most of the slices in the picture at the top. But not too thin because then it will fall apart. Do you like how vague and unhelpful that is? 2) Toothpicks are your friend. Use them to hold the roll-ups together. I actually left them in while it cooked and then took them out to serve. 3) Don’t rush the cooking of this dish. I was in a bit of a rush and didn’t cook it for long enough and the skin was still tough on some of the rolls.
1 large or 2 medium eggplants
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 16 oz. container of ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Italian herbs (or 2 tsp. if they are dried)
1 cup marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the eggplant length-wise about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast the eggplant slices for 15 minutes or until golden. Take them out of the oven and let them cool.
Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, and herbs in a bowl. Put about 2 Tbsp. of the mixture onto an eggplant slice and roll it up. Use a toothpick to secure the roll. Repeat with all of the slices.
Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and put about 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom. Place the rolls into the pan and put the extra cheese mixture in the spaces between the rolls. Spread the rest of the marinara sauce on top. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes.
Source: Inspired by The Culinary Chase