Grilled Eggplant Roulade with Pesto Ricotta Filling
of olive oil
sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
of ricotta cheese
of basil pesto
roasted red peppers
of tomato sauce
can use any, but I've included my recipe
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
OPTIONALChives for garnish
FOR SAUCE22 fl oz of strained crushed tomatoes
of olive oil
of sea salt
sprigs of fresh parsley
Heat grill to high heat.
Toss the eggplant slices in olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and ground black pepper.
Using tongs, place the eggplant slices directly onto your clean grilling surface.
Grill until eggplant is browned on both sides, approx. 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove from grill and set aside to cool down to room temp.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella (set aside the rest for garnish), basil pesto, egg, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of ground black pepper.
In an 8 x 10 inch baking dish, poor 1/4 cup of pasta sauce to evenly coat the bottom surface.
Spread approx. 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto one side of each slice of eggplant, top to bottom.
Evenly spread out a few pieces of the sliced roasted red peppers and the marinated artichokes.
Starting at one end of the eggplant slice, gently roll towards the other end of the eggplant, securing the stuffing inside.
Place each roll into the sauced baking dish, lipped-side down to prevent unrolling.
Bake in the oven, uncovered, for approx. 15 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Top each roll with a tablespoon of sauce, some grated mozzarella cheese, and chives (chives are optional).
SAUCE (Make a few hours in advance)Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan on low heat.
Add smashed garlic cloves and simmer for approx. 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.
Add the onions and fresh flat leaf parsley; simmer until onions are translucent, approx. 4-5 minutes.
Add the strained crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, sea salt and sugar.
Allow to simmer on low for approx. 3 hours or so, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
*If you are planning to make my sauce, which I've included the recipe for, start the sauce approx. 3 hours before the eggplant roulades.