I teach a Meatless Monday cooking class to high schoolers online. One of my students requested Eggplant Rollatini and said it’s her favorite dish. So we made it in class and it was fabulous! I usually feel ambivalent toward eggplant, but this is one eggplant recipe I am very proud of because it came out so well! There are a few steps involved, but we had everything on the plate in an hour, so it’s not bad at all. And while the eggplant is baking, I also tossed a few Gardein “meatballs” into the leftover sauce and whipped up a quick plant-based Cesar salad for a complete and delicious meal to celebrate my husband’s 48th birthday. Here ya go:
2 tablespoons unsweetened plant-based milk
1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, drained
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggplants
Salt (will be rinsed away)
2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup veggie broth, water, or red wine
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning OR 1/2 tablespoon each dry oregano and dry basil
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Slice the eggplant into long, thin slices. Sprinkle each side of the eggplant slices with salt. You can spread them out in a colander over the sink or on a baking rack with a pan underneath. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes while you get the sauce and tofu ricotta started. When done, lightly rinse to remove the salt and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425° F. In a medium saucepan, dry sauté the onions for 3-5 minutes until translucent, adding a tablespoon or so of liquid to avoid sticking. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, and using the remaining liquid, swish out the tomato can and add to the pot. Add the seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Make the tofu ricotta. To a blender or food processor, add the milk, tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, seasoning, and salt and pepper. Blend until combined and smooth.
4. Place the eggplant slices on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Brush oil on both sides of the eggplant slices and roast in the oven for 7-10 minutes or until soft and pliable.
5. Place approximately 1 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13X9 baking dish to lightly coat. Set aside. Let the eggplant slices cool just enough to handle. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of tofu ricotta to the larger end of each eggplant slice and gently roll up. Place seam-side down into the baking dish. Continue until the eggplant is used up (you may have leftover tofu ricotta). Pour another cup of marinara down the middle of eggplant slices, but don’t cover completely or the eggplant rollatini will get too mushy.
6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until heated throughout. Enjoy!