Friday, August 26

Blame It on the Rain (Eggplant Rollatini)

Apparently, it's going to rain this weekend.  Judging by the crowds of people stocking up on toilet paper and bread, Hurricane Irene promises to be the biggest thing to hit the Northeast since, well, since the Snowpocalypse of 2010.   Or, if you believe the newscasts, The Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011.

Our hurricane preparation:  Buy bottled water and batteries.  Bring in the patio furniture.  Fill up the gas tanks.  Check, check and check.  The mass panic out there isn't doing anyone any good.  Although, I am happy that Target decided to open all their registers just for the occasion.  It was like Black Friday in August!  Along with my flashlight and batteries, I got cute shoes and a huge tote bag, both on sale.  Weatherproofing win!!

Not really photogenic.  But genuinely delicious!

Rainy days call for comfort food.  What's better comfort food than lasagna?  And since it's the end of summer, where pretty deep purple eggplants beckon from every produce stand and store display, what's better than eggplant lasagna?  Baked in easy individual servings?

If you answered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream over at Espresso and Cream, you would be right.  You should definitely go make some of that.  

But first, you should make this.  Because you need your veggies.  And veggies + cheesy lasagna = happy bellies.

And after all, no one wants to have to wait out a storm with an unhappy belly. 

Eggplant Rollatini
(via:  Me!)

1 large eggplant
1 egg
flour and breadcrumbs for breading
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated romano cheese
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste.
1 jar (3+ cups) your favorite tomato sauce

Time and temperature:  350 degrees, 25 minutes for the eggplant and 30 minutes for the bake.

Preheat your oven.  Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch strips; I got 8 good ones from one large eggplant.  (If you want, you can cut the skin off, but I think it adds to the dish so I left it on.  If you're hiding veggies from your kids or husband, definitely cut it off.)  Beat the egg in a small bowl and arrange the flour on a plate and the breadcrumbs on another.  Dip each slice of eggplant in the flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs.  Place flat and unstacked on a cooking sheet (I used parchment on my sheet for easy clean up).  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until tender, flipping halfway through.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, until you can handle them easily.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, romano cheese, oregano, salt and pepper and 1-1/3 cups of the mozzarella cheese until well mixed.  Place 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture onto the middle of an eggplant slice and roll the sides over.  Place seam side down in a medium-sized baking dish.  Continue this with the remaining slices.  Cover the roll-ups with the tomato sauce and sprinkle the top with the reserved mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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