Grilled Eggplant Rolls (Involtini di Melanzane)
This is a quintessential Mediterranean dish that showcases some of the best summer ingredients—fresh ricotta, eggplants, tomatoes, balsamic, fresh basil, dried oregano—all brought together by a generous drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil.
This can be an appetizer for 4 people or a main course for 2, if served with some crusty bread to mop the tomato juices from the plate.
Makes 16 rolls
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 large tomato
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup ricotta
Thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise into 16 slices.
Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, grill the eggplant slices in batches, cooking for a couple of minutes per side; flip them when you spot the griddle pan marks appearing on the top of each slice. Collect the grilled eggplant slices on a plate.
Dice the tomato and transfer to a small bowl. Season with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Tear up a few leaves of basil and add them in. Mix and set aside.
Now prepare the ricotta. In another small bowl, mix the ricotta with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and mix until smooth. Tear up a few more leaves of basil and add them in.
Place one tablespoon of ricotta on each slice of grilled eggplant, then roll them up and transfer to a plate. Dress the eggplant rolls with the diced tomatoes and let sit for at least half an hour before serving.