Want the yum of eggplant parmesan without the effort and indulgence? These eggplant marinara rolls are filled and topped with Forager Project® Mozzarella and Parmesan, smothered in marinara and brightened up with a healthy dose of basil. Easy to assemble ahead and bake right before dinner.
Prepare your eggplants by first cutting off the stem at the top. Next, carefully cut the full length of each eggplant into ¼ inch planks. You should get at least 4 good cross-section slices out of each eggplant, depending on its size. It’s ok if the outside pieces are oddly shaped, you can cook and save those for another use (psst: babaganoush!).
If you have time, salt your eggplant* to remove excess moisture and bitterness, and to create a smoother, more luscious texture once the eggplant is cooked.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil on each of 2 baking sheets, lined with tin foil or parchment if you’d like. With your hand or a tool, spread the olive oil along the whole surface of each sheet.
Place your eggplant slices on the baking sheets and drizzle another tablespoon or so of olive oil on top. Roast your eggplant for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Remove eggplant from the oven and let cool. Leave the oven on!
Time to assemble. You can do the following all at once or in batches. To each slice of cooked eggplant: add 1-2 tablespoons of marinara sauce and spread it over the full length of the slice; then add a tablespoon of Forager Project® Mozzarella and a few basil leaves in the middle of the slice. Roll each slice from bottom to top, leaving you with a little bundle. Line all your bundles up in a row on your baking sheet or in another baking dish.
Spoon the remaining marinara over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining Forager Project® Mozzarella and all the Forager Project® Parmesan. Put the eggplant rolls back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven and serve with additional basil leaves!
*One approach for salting eggplant: put down a layer of paper towels, sprinkling salt onto the paper towel, place your sliced eggplant all along the paper towel surface, sprinkle more salt on top, and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Once you see lots of pearls of liquid on the surface of the eggplant, add a layer of paper towel on top and press the whole stack until the paper towel is damp.
Michele L. Seattle, WA
Judy H. Marblehead, MA