Vegetarian and low-carb alert! This is simple, indulgent treat for all of my eggplant lovers. It's easy and fun to make. These little cheesy, eggplant-y delights take only 15 minutes to prepare, and bake in just over 30 minutes, or less. Enjoy!
1/2 firm eggplant, sliced thinly (enough to fold)
1/4 cup flour (Sub: breadcrumbs or gluten free flour)
1/2 lb. fresh ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg (optional)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 salt, divided (more, or less to taste)
black pepper, to taste
12 oz. Marinara Sauce
1 TBS. olive oil, divided
Salt the eggplant, first!
Slice the ends off of the eggplant. Hold the eggplant upward, and slice lengthwise in thin slices. Sprinkle 3/4 tsp salt evenly on slices. Allow them to sit for 15-20 minutes, to extract some of the natural water from the eggplant slices. Use a paper towel to blot the water that rises.
Prepare the dish
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Brush the eggplant slices lightly with a little of oil and sprinkle one side with flour or breadcrumbs.
Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Lay the floured side in the pan and sprinkle the other side with flour ( or breadcrumbs). Sear each side for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Repeat in batches until all slices are browned. Lay them flat on a plate and let them cool off.
Make the cheese filling in a bowl by mixing the ricotta, parmesan cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella, parsley, egg (optional), lemon juice, black pepper, and salt.
Next, spread tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of a baking small baking pan.
Once the eggplant has cooled off, place a spoonful of the ricotta filling at the widest end of the eggplant slices and roll the slices over into… a roll. Place the eggplant roll with the seam on the bottom of the pan to keep it from not rolling while baking. Continue until the baking pan is full.
Top the eggplant rolls with a little olive oil and a layer of sauce. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top and place back into the oven for about 5 minutes to let the cheese melt. Remove from the oven Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then serve.