Whilst I loveeeeeeee pasta, sometimes I want something a little bit different.
This recipe first came about on one of those nights where I wanted something a little bit different. I had a huge eggplant in the fridge and knew I wanted to use it for dinner. After seeing something pop up about eggplant involtini on the tv the night before, my brain was swimming with ideas.
The originally dish I'd seen on tv was filled with capsicum and tomatoes and a bunch of other ingredients I can't eat - so I put my thinking cap on and came up with the perfect recipe of my own.
First I grilled my eggplant slices ready to fill later on. Using my favourite grill pan I grilled each slice just until they were soft enough to roll, lightly seasoning each strip with salt and pepper.
Then whilst the eggplant slices cooled slightly, I mixed up the filling - a mix of creamy ricotta, parmesan cheese, garlic and fresh herbs. But when it came to the topping - I had to put my thinking cap on once again.
All of the eggplant involtini recipes I'd seen were smothered with a delicious tomato sauce which I'd love to eat - but my stomach wouldn't. I couldn't use a tomato sauce and whilst I could have just sprinkled them with cheese, I decided they needed a little something extra...
So, my leftover filling mixture with mixed with a spoonful of basil pesto for the perfect topping and then sprinkled with a little bit of extra parmesan cheese for a final finishing touch.
Then all I had to do was wait ten or so minutes until the filling was warmed through and the cheese on top was golden and bubbly and I was ready to devour the deliciousness - and oh how delicious it was!
Since that night we've made this recipe time and time again (and if you're like Jesse and don't like pesto, you can switch the pesto ricotta topping with a traditional tomato napolitana style sauce and cheese!) and it's become a SIL family favourite.
But best of all? It's one of those dishes that looks super fancy and impressive (and feels fancy to eat) but is ridiculously easy - so it's perfect for impressing your friends and loved ones ;)
But let me give you the recipe so that you can make it yourself! >>
Grilled Eggplant Involtini with Basil Pesto and Ricotta
also known as Eggplant Rollatini | serves 1, easily multiplied
low fat, low carb, gluten free, healthy, clean eating friendly, egg free
1/2 medium eggplant, thinly sliced lengthways (if you're not an eggplant fan, this also works with zucchini!)
1/2 cup (120g) low fat ricotta cheese*
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tbsp (10g) basil pesto
Additional parmesan, to top
- Preheat your oven to 200C/390F
- Lightly grease and/or line a single serve baking dish or baking tray (you can do it either way!)
- On a barbeque plate, grill plan or non-stick fry pan, grill/pan fry your eggplant slices until soft and then set aside on a plate ready to fill later.
- Mix together your ricotta, garlic, parmesan and fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place a spoonful of your ricotta mixture onto each of your eggplant slices, rolling the eggplant slice around the filling to create a roll.
- Place your eggplant rolls into your baking dish or onto your baking tray with the open sides down, placing each roll next to another as shown in the mixture.
- Mix your pesto with your remaining filling mixture and place on top of your eggplant rolls.
- Top with some extra parmesan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through and your cheese on top is melted and golden.
- Serve in the single serve baking dish, or carefully remove your involtini from your baking sheet with a spatula and place onto a plate/serving dish.
- We usually have these with some baked/grilled potato slices and/or a salad for a delicious meal.
*I haven't tried this with fat free ricotta cheese, however, I have tried it with both full fat and reduced fat ricotta cheese and it worked perfectly
But tell me, do you have a favourite deceptively simple dish?