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Eggplant & Ricotta Rolls

Posted Jul 31 2009 7:00pm
I've been cooking up a storm lately; sticking to vegetarian and more health-conscious meals.  I love it!  Cooking healthy gluten free food is actually very easy.  It's the calorie-laden GF baked goods that are a bit more challenging. Eating foods that energize and make you feel good inside is where it's at.  I still eat whatever I want when I'm out, but I think sticking to the healthy stuff at home is an easy way to keep my weight down.  Not that I'm worried too much about my weight, but it's good to think preventatively.  

I've had some pretty gross and greasy eggplant parmesan before so I don't usually cook with eggplant.  I wasn't sure how this dish would turn out.  It required a few more steps than I'm used to (I'm a pretty lazy cook), but the end product was AWESOME!  The following day when I had it for lunch at work - it tasted even better!  This dish seriously opened up my taste buds to the yumminess of cooked eggplant.  I know you're going to like this one;)

Ingredients
For the eggplant rolls
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • Olive or Sunflower Oil (enough to coat the bottom of a pan)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups white rice (cooked)
  • 1 tblsp. fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. fresh mint (chopped)
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
For The Sauce
  • 1 tblsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or GF vegetable stock)
  • 1 tblsp. fresh parsley (chopped)

Cooking Instructions
  1. Get the rice cooking.
  2. Create the tomato sauce: heat the oil in a small pan and fry the garlic and onion for 2 to 3 minutes (or until softened).
  3. Add the tomatoes, wine (or stock), and parsley. Season well with salt & pepper.  Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally).
  4. Meanwhile:  preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 
  5. Slice the eggplants the long way. Discard the ends and outer slices.
  6. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the slices of eggplant until golden brown on each side (you'll need to do this in stages). Remove the browned slices and drain on paper towels.
  7. Mix the cooked rice, ricotta cheese, basil, mint, and some salt and pepper in a bowl.
  8. Lay the cooked slices of eggplant on a cutting board. Drop generous spoonfuls of rice mixture onto one end of each slice and roll them up.  Arrange the rolls side by side in a shallow ovenproof dish. 
  9. Cover the rolls with the hot tomato sauce and throw it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove and chow down! This is serious good eats!
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