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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eggplant Roulades

Eggplant Roulades
2 Large eggplants, sliced lengthwise, 1/2 inch thick
Cooking spray
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Package of baby spinach
16 Oz ricotta cheese
5 Basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper
1 Jar tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Don't get me wrong, I love fried eggplant covered in gooey cheese, but it's one of those dishes that should be classified as an occasional treat. If you craving eggplant parm, here's a healthy (and tasty) alternative to enjoy anytime. If you want to kick this recipe up a notch you can use spicy marinara sauce, or add thin slices of prosciutto for an entertaining-worthy dish.

First, drain the eggplant of any excess water by placing slices in a colander and generously covering in salt. Cover with a dish and a jar to weigh down the slices. Let drain for up to 2 hours. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and spinach, saute until spinach is wilted. Set aside. In a bowl mix the ricotta, basil, salt and pepper until combined. Fold in the cooled spinach. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the roulades.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Quickly rinse off eggplant slices to remove salt and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a hot pan with cooking spray and begin to cook the eggplant in batches for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Let cool. Take each eggplant slice and place a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on one end. Roll the eggplant up and place in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Cover the roulades with tomato sauce and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. If you do feel like splurging, you can top with some mozzarella cheese before baking in the oven! Serve with Italian bread and Parmesan cheese.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.