Thinly sliced eggplant is grilled then rolled with a cheesy filling, topped with tomato passata and more cheese and baked until bubbling and golden. This recipe has been adapted from Nigella's Feast cookbook.
4tablespoonschopped fresh flat leaf parsley(or more as desired)
4tablespoonschopped fresh basil(or more as desired)
freshly ground pepper
Firstly I like to peel and sliced the eggplants into about 5mm slices. I get about 7 slices per eggplant.
Brush slices with olive oil and grill using electric grill or grill pan. For other options see notes.
Place a large tablespoon of prepared filling onto a slice of grilled eggplant. Roll up and arrange into a baking dish. This is obviously a recipe that can easily be adjusted according to how many guests you have.
Combine tomato passata with extra virgin olive oil and salt
Pour seasoned tomato passata over the the rolls and sprinkle with chopped mozzarella.
Bake at 350ºF/180ºC for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and the cheese is melted and golden. By this time your house should smell heavenly.
Once out, let the dish stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. Beautiful with crusty bread and a salad.
Combine all ingredients for filling and set aside.
Does the eggplant need to be salted to remove bitterness?
Generally I find that eggplant isn't bitter especially if it's young and fresh.However if the seeds a large and hard they could be bitter so salt them if that's the case. To do this , sprinkle the slice with salt and layer into a colander. Leave for 1 hour. During this time the bitter juices will be released and drain away. Wash and dry well before proceeding.
Eggplant Involtini can be varied with a some substitutions or additions. Here are some suggestions however I'm sure you can think of more.
use zucchini instead of eggplant. Layer two, overlapping slices of zucchini. Then fill and roll.
instead of grilling, brush eggplant slices with oil and bake in the oven until cooked through
substitute mozzarella or cream cheese for half of the ricotta
sprinkle with parmesan or romano cheese instead of mozzarella
add a teaspoon of dried oregano to the filling instead the fresh herbs
grate the zest of a lemon into the filling
add a handful of raisins, currant or pine nuts to the filling
There could not be a more versatile recipe. Served as an appetizer, side or main dish, these involtini will be enjoyed by meat eaters and vegetarians alike.If serving as a main dish, provide a big salad like Green Bean Salad or Spinach Salad. How ever you serve this, be sure to provide a hunk of crusty bread to mop up the juices.