Baked eggplant parmesan roll-ups

Recipe originally from Bon Appétit | March 2010

Yummy, cheesy baked goodness? Yes! With a twist of fresh mint and swiss chard, this take on eggplant parmesan is a perfect meal for a fall night. Plus, swiss chard may still be hanging on in your garden so this is a nice way to finish it up.

The only negative about this recipe is that it takes a while to prepare because you first have to roast the eggplant slices, and then have to assemble everything before baking for another hour. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this for a weeknight meal unless you prepare it the night before and simply pop it in the oven when you get home. In that case, well, I think it would be lovely.

This recipe is from Bon Appétit and was lauded as being a healthier version of eggplant parmesan. And, it is… but it still has a hefty amount of cheese which contributes to over 50% of the calories coming from fat. I decreased this a little bit by using part-skim ricotta and mozzarella and the recipe does not suffer so I’d recommend going that route.

What you need:

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4 pounds total), trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed and chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce container part skim-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (we like Newman’s own Sockarooni)
  • 1 8-ounce ball fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, thinly sliced

What to do:

  1. Prepare the eggplant slices by salting the hell out of them: Cover bottom and sides of each of 2 large colanders with 1 layer of eggplant slices; sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Continue layering eggplant slices in each colander, sprinkling each layer with coarse salt, until all eggplant slices are used. Place each colander over large bowl; let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Rinse eggplant slices to remove excess salt; dry thoroughly with paper towels. (I… sort of skipped this step for one preparation and it resulted in a slight runny sauce, but not the end of the world, so if you’re short on time, no worries about step 1.)
  2. Broil the eggplant slices:Position oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat source and preheat broiler. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on prepared baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil. Broil 1 sheet at a time until eggplant slices are tender and beginning to brown, watching closely and removing eggplant slices as needed if cooking too quickly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove baking sheet from oven and cool eggplant while preparing filling. (We think you could also grill the slices, but haven’t tried this yet.)
  3. Cook the chard: You can either boil it in salted water for about 2 minutes, then drain. Or you can saute it in a pan for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Make the filling: Whisk eggs and pinch of coarse salt in medium bowl. Stir in chopped chard, ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, mint, and black pepper.
  5. Prepare the baking dish: Lightly oil 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread half of tomato sauce evenly over bottom of dish.
  6. Make the roll-ups: Divide chard-ricotta filling among eggplant slices, placing about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each. Starting at 1 short end of each, loosely roll up eggplant slices, enclosing filling. Arrange rolls, seam side down, atop sauce in baking dish.
  7. Finish it up: Spoon remaining tomato sauce over. Place mozzarella slices in single layer over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake it: In your preheated oven (set to 350°F), bake eggplant rolls, covered with foil, until heated through, about 30 minutes (40 minutes if you made it the day before and put it in the refrigerator). Uncover and bake until brown in spots and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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