Whats better than grilled summer vegetables? I know! Grilled summer vegetables stuffed with Italian cheeses that's what! If you are looking for a beautiful dish to impress guests with this is it. Eggplant can be made in so many different ways in sauces, stuffed, grilled, baked, fried the list goes on and on. This dish is so simple to make. Typically in this dish you would put tomato sauce on top of it. Just to switch things up a bit I opted for some sun dried tomato pesto. Let me tell you it was so good and it looks so pretty. Who doesn't like pretty food? I was never a big fan of eggplant growing up. As a got older and broadened my food tasting horizons I now have kind of a foodie crush on it.
Ingredients:1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 lb.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil for brushing
1 1/2 cups sun dried tomato pesto, purchased or homemade
Trim the eggplant, then cut crosswise on the diagonal (so the slices are as wide as possible) 1/4 inch thick. Layer the slices in a colander set over a plate, sprinkling each layer with salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to drain. ( This is an important step, it draws out the moisture in the eggplant to ensure no sogginess)
Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the ricotta, mozzarella, 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the parsley and pepper.
Rinse the eggplant slices quickly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the slices on both sides with olive oil, then arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant slices on grill pan 3 minutes per side, or until tender. Let them cool.
When the eggplant slices are cool enough to handle spoon a thin layer of the sun dried tomato pesto into a 13x9-inch baking dish. To make each eggplant roll, place a spoonful of the cheese mixture near one end of a slice and roll up the slice. As each roll is formed, place it seam side down in the dish. Spoon the remaining sun dried pesto over the rolls, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven until the rolls are heated through, about 25 minutes.