I love learning little food facts like that.
Eggplant can be a little bit tricky sometimes. It can be epically delicious when it’s done right, but what else can you do besides the typical eggplant parmesan where you fry it up and pile on lots of cheese and sauce?
How about grill it and roll it up with a creamy ricotta basil filling? It’s a little healthier and you don’t miss out on any flavor.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- salt and pepper
- Thinly slice the eggplant (down the length of the eggplant, so you get the longest pieces possible), and rub the pieces with salt. Place the eggplant in a colander and let it drain for one hour. This process is called purging and what we're doing is letting the salt draw out any juices carrying super bitter flavor.
- While the eggplant drains, mix together the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, parmigiano, red pepper flakes, and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper, and taste. Make desired seasoning adjustments.
- After the eggplant has been purged, rinse the slices well, then dry with paper towels.
- Preheat a grill (or a big cast iron pan) and grill the eggplant about 3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness). Taste a little piece before you remove the eggplant to make sure it's cooked through. Undercooked eggplant really doesn't taste good.
- Place a small spoonful of the cheese mixture at the base of the eggplant, then roll it up. Enjoy!