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Eggplant Rolls

Eggplant Rolls

Think of this as an individual vegetarian lasagna that doesn't use pasta. Instead, you have a lovely piece of breaded and lightly fried eggplant that surrounds ricotta cheese. Cover it with vegetarian spaghetti sauce and some freshly shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese, and there you go! Of course, if you want to save time, pick up a quality jar of pasta sauce and some Italian bread crumbs the next time you are at the store. I like to take the ends that are too small to make rolls out of and make "eggplant fries" with the leftover bread crumbs. They make a great appetizer and are a way to introduce your kids to another vegetable. Use some vegetarian spaghetti sauce as a dip.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 strips (not including the ends)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups Italian bread crumbs* (approximately)
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 15-ounce tub ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups vegetarian spaghetti sauce (approximately)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. After slicing the eggplant, dredge each slice in the beaten eggs and coat with bread crumbs.
  2. Heat about ¼ cup of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Place slices of eggplant in frying pan and cook until bread crumbs are browned and eggplant is cooked (try to turn only once).
  4. Once cooked, place the cooked eggplant on a cooling rack lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  5. While eggplant is cooking, mix ricotta cheese, egg, and parsley in a bowl.
  6. Once the eggplant slices have cooled slightly, spread about 1/8 of the ricotta mixture on each piece of eggplant.
  7. Roll each piece up, jelly-roll style and place seam-side down in a glass 9x13 baking dish.
  8. Cover the rolls with spaghetti sauce and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from oven and place shredded cheese on top.
  10. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Notes

*I like to make my own bread crumbs. I take leftover bread and grind it in my food processor until I have fine crumbs. For this recipe, I take about 2 ½ cups of bread crumbs, ½ cup parmesan or romano cheese, 2 teaspoons garlic, and ½ teaspoon oregano.

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