Recipes, Vegetable Mains and Sides

Eggplant Cannelloni with wilted spinach and ricotta

It’s all about improvising when looking for healthier alternatives! This is a perfect dish to include for vegetarian options or if you are trying to cut back on wheat. It couldn’t be any easier than with beautifully, char-grilled eggplant to form the ‘tubes’ for a light and fresh, ricotta and spinach filling.

Finally top with an easy tomato passata and this dish is guaranteed to please even the most fickle of vegetarians!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants (aubergines)
  • 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 cup of fresh ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • Several stalks of fresh spinach, chopped (or half a cup frozen)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 x 250g tinned tomatoes
  • Fresh basil or green herb of choice
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
Slice lengthwise

Method

  1. Pre-heat the grill or fry pan and place slices of eggplant coated in a splash of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Repeats step by grilling or frying each slice until golden brown and set aside to cool.
  3. In the same frypan, sauté fresh spinach in a small amount of water, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Allow to wilt down and remove from heat to cool
  5. In a food processor, blend the cooled spinach, ricotta, egg and salt and pepper until it resembles a gorgeous green paste.
  6. Place the ricotta and spinach mixture into the fridge to cool and firm, making it easier to portion.
  7. When all ingredients cooled, preheat oven to approx. 170 degrees.
  8. Start the assembly by adding one spoon of the ricotta mix to the cut end and gently roll. Be careful not to overfill the slices with too much mix.
  9. Place the roll into a baking dish.
  10. Continue the process by interlocking each roll in a cross-hatch style, so a cut end fits snuggly against the side of another. This will prevent the filling from oozing out too much.
  11. When all eggplant cannelloni’s have filled the tray, make a start on the tomato sauce.
  12. In the food processor, blitz the tinned tomatoes with fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Depending upon your dietary preferences, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the eggplant.
  14. Coat the dish with the tomato mix and place in the oven and bake for approx. 30 mins until golden brown.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

For a zesty side dish or accompaniment, try this Greek Salad

Enjoy!!

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