First of all, thank you to everyone for all the supportive comments I've received from my last post. It constantly amazes me how much this online community of people who have never met each other can touch each other's lives.
Second I just moved. It's very exciting. After leaving DC in May, I lived with my parents for the summer, and now I have my own apartment in Philadelphia. Oh, and moving meant no internet for almost 2 full weeks. So I've been missing a bit.
What I totally meant to tell you two weeks ago was that I have a great, summery recipe that uses the tofu ricotta I made. I guess it's technically still summer, despite it already being September (when the heck did that happen?!), so.....here's a great, summery recipe that uses the tofu ricotta I made a few weeks ago! Eggplant rollatini!
This recipe is not nearly as work intensive as it sounds, and it's a great way to use all the eggplant that's invading your farmer's market right about now (not that I'm complaining - I totally love eggplant). I love how easy this recipe is because it looks (and feels) so fancy.
Sliced and grilled eggplant is wrapped around herbed tofu ricotta, smothered in tomato sauce, and baked until absolutely delicious. This recipe is totally versatile. You can make your own tofu ricotta or, if you eat dairy, feel free to replace it with regular ricotta cheese. You can either make your favorite tomato sauce recipe or open a jar of your favorite store bought variety. Individual components can be made ahead of time (the ricotta, the tomato sauce, even the grilled eggplant) and stored until assembly. This is a delightful, flavor-packed dish, perfect for the end the of summer.
1 recipe of tofu ricotta
1.5 - 2 cups tomato sauce (either homemade or store bought - I recommend the one found in this recipe)
1 large eggplant (or 2 if you're unsure of your thin-slicing abilities - you can always make a stew out of the extra pieces)
Olive oil for brushing
1. Cut off the two ends of the eggplant and slice it evenly into 1/4" thick slices. Salt the slices and set aside for 20 minutes, until you see water beading on the surface. If you're making your own tomato sauce and/or tofu ricotta, now would be a good time to work on those. Otherwise feel free to go check your email or play around on Facebook for a few.
2. Wash all the salt off the eggplant and pat dry. Brush a little olive oil on both sides of each slice and throw them on a hot grill or grill pan. Cook the eggplant slices on each side for about 4 minutes or until lightly browned. You don't want the eggplant completely cooked through since it will go into the oven in a little bit.
3. Gather your grilled eggplant slices, tomato sauce, tofu ricotta, and baking dish (I used a 9x9 square pan). Pour enough tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish to completely cover the bottom.
4. Place an eggplant slice on a cutting board or plate. Drop a large spoonful of tofu ricotta towards one end of the slice and roll the eggplant around the ricotta. The eggplant can probably hold more than you expect it to, but feel free to play around with portions. Also don't be scared about the slices with the seeds falling apart a bit. It will be covered in sauce and you won't be able to see it. Place the roll seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until the eggplant and ricotta are gone and the dish is full.
5. Pour the rest of the sauce evenly over the top of the rollatinis. Sprinkle the bread curmbs (if using) over the top and bake at 400F for 30 minutes, until bubbling. If the breadcrumbs aren't looking brown pop it in the broiler for 5-10 minutes until they are.
Serve warm or room temperature.