Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Food Network Monthly Cookalong: Eggplant Rollatini

I am slow to post but I made this dish right at the beginning of the month. I got some amazing eggplants at the Brewer Park Farmer's Market and knew that I wanted to make this dish with it. It was easy to veganize and came together fairly quick.

Giada's version is stuffed with ricotta that is mixed with eggs and Parmesan so I decided to make tofu ricotta which is thick enough to use as it was without adding anything else. I used lots of fresh basil in it too which added lots of flavour and pretty colour to the ricotta. For the eggplant I did as Giada suggested and salted and rinsed them to remove any bitterness and then sprayed with spray oil. I took mine to the grill instead of the grill pan since the weather was nice. This way I didn't heat up the kitchen too much either. The eggplant slices grilled nicely and super fast and then all that was left was to stuff and roll. I thought it would be tricky and the eggplant would fall apart but it totally didn't. It went together perfectly and they all nested in the pan awaiting their tomato sauce blanket. I went with the quickest solution for this and used a jarred sauce. It is a passata type sauce that is super simple, just tomatoes, basil and salt. It worked nicely in this and saved me having to make sauce which was nice since I was making this for a quick lunch. I sprinkled the top with nutritional yeast and baked it for a bit longer than Giada since my sauce was room temp not warm. Then I served it up with toasted ciabatta and lots of broccoli. Everyone really enjoyed it (even my eggplant phobic mother) so I would definitely make it again!

I don't really use a recipe for the tofu ricotta, it's become sort of an amalgamation of a few different recipes I've tried. I usually take a whole pound block of tofu and tear it into smaller pieces and put it in the food processor then add 3/4 cup of cashews or pine nuts (depends on the day). I blitz this up then add nutritional yeast, yellow miso, a few cloves of garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper then stream in some unsweetened soy (or almond) milk until it reaches the consistency I want/looks ricotta-ish. I never add the same amount of anything or measure, it's more of a taste and see what it needs kind of thing.

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