Eggplant Rollatini the Healthier Way

Photo: Robin Selden, Marcia Selden Catering

We love this healthier version of the classic breaded and fried rollatini. It’s lighter in calories but still packs a heavy flavor punch with ricotta, basil, fresh lemon and nutmeg filling. It works as an appetizer or an entrée and is the perfect summer dish.

Eggplants are actually a fruit, just like tomatoes—and they’re part of the Nightshade family, which also includes Tobacco! Eggplants contain the highest amount of nicotine found in any vegetable! But fear not—you’d have to eat 20 lbs of eggplant to ingest the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette. Eggplant is also a great source of fiber and is very low in calories at just 35 per cup.


Here’s a great low- fat version of Eggplant Rollatini using peak of summer eggplant and tomatoes.

This sauce can also be enjoyed over grilled chicken, fish, or over a big bowl of your favorite pasta.

This Eggplant Rollatini is dairy, vegetarian and gluten-free.

Ingredients

Roasted Tomato Sauce
    • 2 lbs Fresh Tomatoes
    • 8 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and chopped
    • 4 tbs Olive Oil
    • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

 

Eggplant
  • 3 Medium Eggplants, sliced lengthwise to yield 12 slices
  • 1 ½ C Ricotta
  • ½ C grated Parmesan
  • 1 C Finely Shredded Mozzarella
  • Zest of ½ Lemon
  • ½ tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tbs Fresh Basil, chopped
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

Make the Roasted Tomato Sauce
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9X13 baking dish with aluminum foil.
    2. Chop the tomatoes roughly and spread them in the baking dish.
    3. In a bowl, combine the chopped garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and pour evenly over the tomatoes.
    4. Bake for 2-3 hours, until their edges blacken and the juices are reduced. Pour the roasted tomatoes into a food processor and pulse 2-3 times.

 

Prepare the eggplant
  1. Preheat a grill pan or outdoor barbeque.
  2. Salt the eggplant slices and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes.
  3. Dry by blotting with paper towels.
  4. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  5. Grill for about 5 minutes each side, then set aside to cool.
  6. Mix together the ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil, lemon zest, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl.
  7. Lay the eggplant on a sheet pan and spread one rounded tablespoon of ricotta mixture along one edge.
  8. Roll up the eggplant and place in an oven safe dish.
  9. Drizzle with the Roasted Tomato Sauce and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese bubbles.