My garden has been producing, but not very prolifically due to lack of rain. In the mean time, I thought I'd share with you an Original Recipe By Lola, Lola's Eggplant Rotolo. I did not plant eggplant this year, so I purchased mine from my local farmer's market.
OMG! This is so delicious. I was trying to duplicate a recipe for an Eggplant Rotolo at a local tapas bar. This turned out even better than the original. I've attached a photo, but it was taken after we ate dinner. It doesn't do it justice.
Lola's Eggplant Rotolo
1 large Eggplant
1 large tub of Ricotta Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (about 1 pound)
1/2 of 1 small box of frozen Spinach (use fresh if you have it.)
3 eggs, beaten
Bread Crumb Mixture:
Spices to season Bread Crumb Mixture:
Spaghetti Sauce (about 1 quart):
Mine is a secret, so you'll have to substitute your own recipe or use store bought sauce.
Slice Eggplant into 1/4 inch long slices. Salt eggplant and layer in strainer/colander with paper towels. Put a plate and a heavy weight, like a large can or book. Place strainer/colander into a larger bowl to catch the drainage. This allows the moisture from the Eggplant to be removed and it removes the bitterness from the Eggplant. Allow to sit with the weight on it for several hours. You will notice a brownish colored liquid in the drain bowl. Discard this, then thoroughly rinse and dry each slice of Eggplant. (I know rinsing afterward sounds counter intuitive, but trust me, this process removes the bitterness and you will definitely notice the difference if you skip this step.)
Mix Bread Crumb Mixture thoroughly in a bowl large enough to dip the Eggplant slices into.
Dip Eggplant into beaten eggs, then dredge in Bread Crumb Mixture.
In a large frying pan, pour about a 1/4 inch layer of Vegetable Oil. Heat oil. Test oil by putting a drop of water into it. If it disburses, the oil is hot enough. Fry Breaded Eggplant slices on both sides until golden brown. Allow to drain on cooling racks, or paper towels. Set aside.
Defrost Frozen Spinach in Microwave Oven. Squeeze water out and press a clean paper towel over the top to remove any excess moisture.
In a medium bowl combine Ricotta Cheese and Spinach.
Spoon a layer of the Ricotta Cheese/Spinach mixture onto each slice. Using a spoon, dribble a bit of Spaghetti Sauce down the middle of each slice. Sprinkle a small amount of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese over the top, being sure to reserve some to top off the dish before baking. Roll each slice individually, using a single wooden toothpick to secure each.
In a 9x12 baking dish, spray thoroughly with Cooking Spray. Add a layer of Spaghetti Sauce. Add each Eggplant Roll to the baking dish.
Top with reserved Shredded Mozzarella Cheese. Use cooking spray to coat a sheet of Aluminum Foil large enough to cover baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake in 325 oven for 40 minutes. Remove Aluminum Foil, bake an additional 5-15 minutes until cheese on top browns.
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