Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome Sunshine

Well, we are in the middle of May and it has been a wet one in California. It has felt more like February, mor elike cooking comfort foods rather than spring foods. Today we have sunshine though, at least for the time being, there are scattered showers predicted for the afternoon. I will take this bit of sunshine and write to you all. I am going back a few days to my meatless Monday, yet it is Wednesday. On Monday I tried my hand at a new recipe, something like a cross between eggplant parmesan and lasagne roll-ups. Think Lasagne minus the noodles and add the eggplant minus the breading and frying. I have to say it turned out great. Served with Creamy Polenta and a mixed herb salad. It was the perfect meatless meal.

Feel free to use your favorite fresh tomato sauce or a purchased sauce in place of the tomato and roasted red pepper sauce.
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • Olive oil, to brush the eggplant with
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red peppers
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ***Filling***
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (I used cottage cheese because that is what I had at home)
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper


Remove ends from the eggplant. Slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Brush a large baking sheet with  olive oil and arrange the slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Brush the sliced eggplant with olive oil. Broil until browned. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion and sauté just until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add peppers, tomato, 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a dash of pepper. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
Combine the filling ingredients, mixing to blend well.
Heat oven to 375°.
Spoon half of the tomato mixture into a baking dish. Spoon a few teaspoons of the cheese mixture onto the end of each slice of eggplant. Roll up and place on the tomato mixture, seam-side down. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices. Top with remaining tomato sauce. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, top with shredded mozarella cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes, uncovered.

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