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Eggplant Rollatini with Spinach


Eggplant Rollatini with Spinach

Eggplant rollatini is a classic Italian dish and one of my personal favorites. What you may not realize is that eggplant, when fried, acts like a sponge and sucks up oil very efficiently! In my version, the cast-iron pan is the fat- and calorie-saver. Cast-iron pans, when seasoned well, will sear items and produce a beautiful browning and crispness with very little fat. I added spinach to this recipe to boost flavor and volume. I also use low-fat ricotta and mozzarella and you cannot tell the difference. This recipe rocks... enjoy!

You can also use frozen spinach for this recipe; just be sure to squeeze out as much water as possible.

Click here to see Diane's Dish on... Eggplant.


For the stuffing

  • 2 Cups part-skim ricotta
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 Cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 Teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano or 1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil or 1/3 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 Cups chopped, cooked spinach
  • 1/3 Cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

For the eggplant

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 Cup whole-wheat flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 whole egg plus 4 egg whites, beaten
  • 1/4 Cup low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 2 Cups breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 Cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 Cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 Cup chopped parsley, for garnish


For the stuffing

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside.

For the eggplant

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the ends off the eggplants and slice lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Set out 3 baking sheets or platters. Place the whole-wheat flour, salt, and pepper in one baking sheet, the egg, egg whites, and milk in another, and the breadcrumbs in the last sheet.

Coat all of the eggplant slices first in the flour, then the egg, and lastly cover completely with the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess at each step. Rub a cast-iron or nonstick skillet or griddle with 1 teaspoon oil and place over medium-high heat. Cook the eggplant in batches without crowding for 3 minutes on each side. Wipe the skillet with paper towels or cloth between batches then rerub with oil each time.

Coat a baking sheet with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Transfer the eggplant to the baking sheet in a single layer (you may need multiple baking sheets). Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Lay a slice of baked eggplant on a flat surface and place about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto the smaller end of the eggplant. Roll the eggplant and place seam side down in a baking dish where the rolls fit snugly next to each other.

Spoon the tomato sauce over each roll and bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Then, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake, uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!