This is not a glamorous dish by any means. It’s kind of messy and not all that pretty or revolutionary. It is what it is. It’s delicious.
By Carrie King
- 3-4 Japanese eggplants
- ½ lb fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- small handful parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 egg
- Salt and black pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- Trim the ends from the eggplant and using a mandoline or a knife, cut the eggplant into thin slices, lengthwise - about ¼ inch thick.
- Lay the slices of eggplant on a rack or around a large colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave the salted eggplant to sit for 15 minutes or so. This will draw the excess water from the eggplant and remove any bitterness.
- Use a clean towel to blot the eggplant dry.
- Preheat an oiled, cast iron grill pan and, working in batches, grill the eggplant slices for about 2 minutes on each side, or until tender.
- Once all of the eggplant is grilled, set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley and egg. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Ladle a bit of tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish - to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the bottom.
- Laying a slice of eggplant flat in front of you, use a teaspoon to dollop filling on one end of the eggplant slice. Carefully roll the eggplant around the filling and transfer the rolled, stuffed eggplant to the oven dish.
- Repeat the same for all of the eggplant and filling.
- Ladle the tomato sauce over the eggplant.
- Cut the fresh mozzarella into slices about ¼ inch thick. Scatter the mozzarella around the top of the sauce.
- Place the dish into the center rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the mozzarella cheese is brown and bubbly.
Carrie King is a Brooklyn-based freelance food writer and trained chef. When not in her kitchen or at her desk, she’s poking around a market, searching for the components of her next meal. Carrie believes that in the war against bad cooking, using local and seasonal ingredients is half the battle. You can share in more of Carrie’s culinary adventures at her blog, A Cook Grows in Brooklyn.