Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I'm not a huge fan of eggplant. I'm not even a medium-sized fan of eggplant. Maybe a small one. Maybe. Sure I like it fried in a crispy curry batter, but in general, nope it's just not my favorite.
Guess what filled our last CSA basket of the growing-season to the brim? Bunches and bunches of eggplant! So I'm really branching out here and trying to find some good recipes for all of this fresh eggplant. I remembered this one from our CSA Farm Cookbook, and it was just as good as my memories. The prosciutto adds the perfect hint of meaty flavor to this hearty dish. Even I am wild for this stuff - I hope you enjoy it, too!
adapted from our CSA Farm Cookbook
1 1/2 cups flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2-3 medium-small eggplants (about 1.5 lbs.) sliced lengthwise 1/8-inch thick
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight (see instructions below)
2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
In one shallow dish, place 1 cup of flour. Next, place two of the eggs in a second shallow dish, and lightly beat. In a third shallow dish, place salt, and half the pepper, and the parmesan in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the flour and and mix with a fork or a whisk until blended. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour, then into the eggs, then into the flour-and-cheese mixture.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, deep skillet until hot but not smoking. Place the prepared eggplant slices in the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Remove from the skillet and place on paper-towel lined baking sheets to drain until cool enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the drained ricotta in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the last egg, the parsley, half of the shredded mozzarella, the remaining half of the pepper, and mix well. Set aside.
To stuff the eggplant, place one slice of prosciutto on top of the eggplant.
Next, drop a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on top of the prosciutto at the wider end of the eggplant slice.
Beginning with the wider end of the eggplant, roll up, from top to bottom. Pour 1 cup of the marinara sauce into an 8x12" baking dish. Place the eggplant rolls side by side on top of the marinara sauce.
Pour the remaining sauce over the eggplant rolls. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Note: To drain ricotta cheese, peace it in a sieve or cheese cloth and set over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Discard the whey and use the cheese as directed in the recipe!
For a vegetarian option: simply omit the prosciutto!