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Grilled Eggplant Roulade with Pesto Ricotta Filling

Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil approx.
  • 1 large eggplant sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichokes
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers sliced
  • 1 cup 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

    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 3 cloves of garlic smashed
    • 1/2 onion minced
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
    • 2 basil leaves
    • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley chopped

    Instructions

    • 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.

    Notes

    *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.