Stuffed Eggplant Rolls
|Eggplant||1 Large, sliced lengthwise into even 1/8-inch slices (as thick as the cover of a hardcover book)|
|Flour||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (for dredging)|
|Egg wash||6 , mixed with 1/2 cup water (of about 6 beaten eggs)|
|Bread crumbs||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Frying oil||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Ricotta cheese||1 Pound|
|Shredded mozzarella cheese||8 Ounce|
|Grated parmesan||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (good quality, like Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano)|
|Thinly sliced ham/Italian prosciutto||1⁄2 Pound (top-quality)|
|Fresh spinach/1 pound frozen spinach, thawed||1 1⁄2 Pound, washed and cooked|
|Tomato sauce||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
1. Dip a slice of eggplant in the flour to coat both sides. Shake off excess flour, submerge in egg wash, and shake off excess. Coat in bread crumbs, pressing to make sure they adhere well. Place on a holding tray, and repeat with remaining slices. Heat oil to about 350°. (A piece of vegetable should sizzle visibly when dropped into the oil.) Fry the breaded eggplant slices, dripping off any excess oil before stacking them between layers of paper towels.
2. Heat oven to 350°. Combine the three cheeses in a mixing bowl, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place 1 slice of ham on a slice of cooked eggplant. Spoon 1 teaspoon of cooked spinach onto the ham slice and then a generous teaspoon of cheese mixture at the wide end. Roll away from yourself, jellyroll-style, and place into a baking dish, with the seam on the bottom. Repeat with remaining eggplant and fillings, lining the finished rolatine close together in the baking dish. Bake until cheeses are visibly hot and the edges begin to brown lightly.
3. Serve on a pool of tomato sauce, garnished with basil leaves. One piece per appetizer portion, two per main course.