Grilled Eggplant Rollatini with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Taking to the Grill with Summer Veggies
'Tis the season for grilling. Virtually every summertime vegetable benefits from some time on the grill, perhaps none more so than eggplant. A light char adds depth to eggplant’s earthy flavor.
This dish is enhanced by the addition of lemon zest to the cheese filling, which brightens the flavor of the eggplant and adds to the summertime vibe. Added bonus: These eggplant rollatini are equally delicious served hot or at room temperature.
Use the master recipe as a guide, then make it your own:
• Use up your zucchini: Skip the salting step of this dish, slice zucchini or summer squash lengthwise, brush lightly with oil, grill, fill with ricotta and continue recipe.
• Substitute any other cheese you desire for the filling: Try Cloumage cheese from local Shy Brothers Farm, a slice of aged provolone, fresh mozzarella or your favorite cheese combo.
• Skip the cheese stuffing and rolling step: Slice the eggplant into ½-inch-thick lengths, grill until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes per side, then cube the eggplant, and toss with the sauce. Serve with your favorite pasta, rice or grain.
• Experiment with different herbs: Try fresh basil, thyme or fennel fronds instead of oregano.
• Make ahead: Prepare the eggplant rolls up to a day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before serving or adding to the sauce.