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Eggplant Rollatini

with Lemony Ricotta & Garlic Bread

Eggplant Rollatini with Lemony Ricotta & Garlic Bread

Rollatini, the Italian-style roll-ups of eggplant filled with ricotta, are an Italian-American interpretation of "involtini di melanzane." The word rollatini isn’t a real Italian word, but here in the U.S., it’s the one that commonly refers to this dish of vegetables wrapped around a filling. In this recipe, the cheese inside is flavored with lemon juice and zest, and flecked with chopped kale.

Eggplant Rollatini with Lemony Ricotta & Garlic Bread ingredients
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 7 Ounces Kale
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Sprigs Basil
  • 1 Demi Baguette
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 15-Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
Bake the eggplant slices:
1 Bake the eggplant slices:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Trim the stem off the eggplant and slice it into ¼-inch thick planks. Place it on the oiled baking sheet, drizzle it with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the eggplant 17 to 19 minutes, or until lightly browned and pliable.
Prepare your ingredients:
2 Prepare your ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the thick kale stems and finely chop the leaves. Peel all 3 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop 1 clove, finely mince one clove, smashing it into a paste, and leave the 3rd clove whole. Pick off the basil leaves. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the lemon peel. Finely chop the peel to make zest (or use a citrus grater). Peel and small dice the onion.
Make the filling:
3 Make the filling:
In a medium pot, heat a little olive oil on high until hot. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook 1 to 3 minutes, or until completely wilted and any moisture has evaporated. Transfer the kale to a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the ricotta, the garlic paste, lemon zest, one squeeze of lemon juice, and half the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
Make the sauce:
4 Make the sauce:
Wipe out the pot used for the kale. In the pot, heat a little olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and chopped garlic and cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Make the rollatini & bake:
5 Make the rollatini & bake:
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a layer of sauce. Spoon equal amounts of the ricotta filling onto the eggplant slices. Roll up the eggplant, tucking in the filling as you go. Place the rollatini in the baking dish, seam side down. Spoon more sauce over the top. Place the baguette halves cut side up on the baking sheet used for the eggplant; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the bread and the rollatini together 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and the rollatini are completely heated through. (The bread may be done before the rollatini are done, so check on them after 3 to 4 minutes.)
Finish the garlic bread & enjoy:
6 Finish the garlic bread & enjoy:
Rub the peeled garlic clove on the cut-sides of the bread while it’s still warm. Thinly slice the basil and use it to garnish the rollatini and garlic bread. Divide the rollatini and garlic bread between plates. Garnish the rollatini with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Bake the eggplant slices:
1 Bake the eggplant slices:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Trim the stem off the eggplant and slice it into ¼-inch thick planks. Place it on the oiled baking sheet, drizzle it with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the eggplant 17 to 19 minutes, or until lightly browned and pliable.
2 Prepare your ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the thick kale stems and finely chop the leaves. Peel all 3 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop 1 clove, finely mince one clove, smashing it into a paste, and leave the 3rd clove whole. Pick off the basil leaves. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the lemon peel. Finely chop the peel to make zest (or use a citrus grater). Peel and small dice the onion.
Prepare your ingredients:
Make the filling:
3 Make the filling:
In a medium pot, heat a little olive oil on high until hot. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook 1 to 3 minutes, or until completely wilted and any moisture has evaporated. Transfer the kale to a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the ricotta, the garlic paste, lemon zest, one squeeze of lemon juice, and half the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
4 Make the sauce:
Wipe out the pot used for the kale. In the pot, heat a little olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and chopped garlic and cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Make the sauce:
Make the rollatini & bake:
5 Make the rollatini & bake:
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a layer of sauce. Spoon equal amounts of the ricotta filling onto the eggplant slices. Roll up the eggplant, tucking in the filling as you go. Place the rollatini in the baking dish, seam side down. Spoon more sauce over the top. Place the baguette halves cut side up on the baking sheet used for the eggplant; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the bread and the rollatini together 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and the rollatini are completely heated through. (The bread may be done before the rollatini are done, so check on them after 3 to 4 minutes.)
6 Finish the garlic bread & enjoy:
Rub the peeled garlic clove on the cut-sides of the bread while it’s still warm. Thinly slice the basil and use it to garnish the rollatini and garlic bread. Divide the rollatini and garlic bread between plates. Garnish the rollatini with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Finish the garlic bread & enjoy: