Recipe Review: Yum, Yum and Yum. Ok you want me to tell you something... this wasn't too hard to make, looks great and tastes delicious-nicious!
Cooking time: 60 minutes Serves: 2 – 4
Preheat oven: 220°C / 425°F
- 1 eggplant
- kosher salt
- olive oil for frying (I used canola oil)
- tomato sauce, homemade or store bought*
- heavy cream
- freshly grated Asiago cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano
For the Stuffing
- bread crumbs, about 1/2 cup, made from about 3 slices day-old bread**
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta, (homemade is easy and deliciou)
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1. Trim the stem end of each eggplant. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. You should have about 12 slices.
2. Sprinkle the eggplant on both sides with kosher salt, layer them in a colander, and let stand for 1 hour. Press the moisture from the eggplant and blot them dry with paper towels.
3. Pour olive (or canola) oil to a depth of 1 inch in a deep, heavy saucepan or large skillet and heat to 360ºF on a deep-frying thermometer. (I did not use a thermometer — just watched the oil and tested when I thought it was ready.)
4. Place 3 to 4 eggplant slices in the hot oil and cook until the slices take on some colour, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the slices to a colander (or paper-towel lined plate) to drain. Repeat with remaining slices.
5. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, ricotta, lemon zest, juice, thyme and salt.
6. Spoon tomato sauce into a medium-sized baking dish (or individual gratin dishes) till bottom of dish is covered in a thin layer.
7. Place a spoonful of filling at one end of each of the eggplant slices. Roll the slice around the filling and place it seam-side down in the dish on top of the tomato sauce.
8. Spoon a tablespoon of cream (or less) over each roll to moisten.
9. Bake until the edges of sauce around the sides of the dish are dark and the rolls are nicely caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes.
10. Garnish with the cheese before serving.
* I used a picante tomato sauce and it worked perfectly with the slight sweetness of the ricotta
**I used up some old breadcrumbs we had in the house SME pre-project. I do wonder though whether you even need them. I will experiment next time I make this.