Grilled Eggplant Rollatini

Grilled eggplant slices are filled with a four-cheese mixture, then topped with marinara, mozzarella, and Parmesan to make creamy and delicious rollatini. [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

Making double use of the grill, dish of rollatini starts with eggplant slices that are until tender and browned, then sees them returned to the grill as rollatini in a covered baking dish, just long enough for the cheese to melt and the marinara sauce to heat through.

Why this recipe works:

  • Eggplant slices that are 1/4 inch thick are sturdy enough to hold together on the grill yet thin enough to roll up once cooked.
  • Mixing provolone into the filling adds a nice sharpness that's balanced by the creamy and mellow ricotta.
  • Finishing the dish over an indirect fire makes great use of the remaining heat in the grill.
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Grilled Eggplant Rollatini

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:1 hour 15 minutes
Special equipment:Grill, baking dish or disposable aluminum roasting pan
This recipe appears in: Fruit Roll Up: How to Grill Sliced Eggplant and 3 Ways to Stuff It

Ingredients

  • For the Marinara:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Rollatini:
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated fresh mozzarella, divided
  • 1/3 cup grated sharp provolone
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large eggplants, ends trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: medium-high

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Marinara: Place oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until fragrant and bubbles start to form around garlic, 30-60 seconds. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  2. 2

    For the Rollatini: Whisk together ricotta, 1/3 cup of mozzarella, provolone, 1/3 cup parmesan, egg, and 1/4 cup basil in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Brush eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant slices until browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large tray or cutting board.

  4. 4

    Place a heaping tablespoon of ricotta filling on wider end of eggplant slice and roll eggplant closed around filling. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and filling.

  5. 5

    Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce along the bottom of a large tray or shallow baking dish. Place eggplant rolls in dish and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Place on cool side of the grill, cover with aluminum foil, and let cook until cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Remove from grill, garnish with additional basil, and serve.

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