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!
- 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)
- Pre-heat the grill or fry pan and place slices of eggplant coated in a splash of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
- Repeats step by grilling or frying each slice until golden brown and set aside to cool.
- In the same frypan, sauté fresh spinach in a small amount of water, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Allow to wilt down and remove from heat to cool
- In a food processor, blend the cooled spinach, ricotta, egg and salt and pepper until it resembles a gorgeous green paste.
- Place the ricotta and spinach mixture into the fridge to cool and firm, making it easier to portion.
- When all ingredients cooled, preheat oven to approx. 170 degrees.
- 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.
- Place the roll into a baking dish.
- 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.
- When all eggplant cannelloni’s have filled the tray, make a start on the tomato sauce.
- In the food processor, blitz the tinned tomatoes with fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.
- Depending upon your dietary preferences, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the eggplant.
- Coat the dish with the tomato mix and place in the oven and bake for approx. 30 mins until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
For a zesty side dish or accompaniment, try this Greek Salad