Un-Rollatini? Really Liz? Well, yes. I love eggplant and I love ricotta. However, I’m trying to take it easy on the breadcrumbs. So I created this recipe as a happy medium. It’s kind of like eggplant parmesan meets a deconstructed rollatini.
What’s nice about this dish is that each slice of grilled eggplant has a smear of ricotta, or as we say in NY, mostly on Long Island, a schmear, in reference to a small amount of say, cream cheese on a bagel.
While I’m not a big salt person, a friend gave me a jar of Seasonello (Bologna aromatic sea salt) to try, and I put a little on each eggplant as they grilled and it was flavorful and not to salty! This sea salt from Italy has Sea Salt, Rosemary, Garlic, Sage, and Pepper, you could find it in a local Italian market, or online.
Guess what else? I pulled a jar of sauce from my pantry and prepared this in no time. The sauce I used is made by Poblano Farm and I found it at Whole Foods in Jericho on Long Island. I really like this brand, because it’s all natural. The farm really does exist, it’s in Rhode Island and the ingredients are simply plum tomatoes, water, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt, fresh sweet basil, fresh parsley, red pepper flake, citric acid. Citric acid is a natural preservative found in, you guessed it, citrus fruits.
A few notes about eggplant- I used a medium sized eggplant, which was about one pound.
You will want the slices to be a little less than an inch thick. I sliced mine lengthwise, you could also slice your eggplant into discs, but I choose to do it this way so I had less pieces to grill. I personally like the skin, so I left it on, sometimes the skin can be bitter. It’s your preference whether you keep or peel the skin. Eggplants are like sponges, they absorb oil so quickly! I brushed each side of eggplant just before placing them in my grill pan.