The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry

Mediterranean Eggplant, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls

45 Comments

EggplantTSTThis dish is our new favorite for a Meatless Monday, because for relatively little effort, we can have a rich, wholesome, flavorful meal that doesn’t leave us missing meat. And by “us” I mean my husband. My dear carnivore loves his steaks and this kind of meal, and rarely does he feel satisfied without a little meat. Except with this dish. I think it’s because of the rich texture of the eggplant. I love it because of all the flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with fresh and dried herb seasonings, and creamy ricotta and spinach that oozes out of these little eggplant rolls. The tomato sauce is simple and rustic, and the whole meal comes together in about 40 minutes. We’ll be making this again for a meatless meal any day of the week!

For more eggplant ideas, check out Nancy’s delicious Eggplant Stacks at Feasting with Friends, as well as Johnny’s delectable Eggplant Slices in Spiced Batter at Kitschnflavours and Elaine’s lovely Baba Ganoush at Foodbod. I know I’ve probably left out other great eggplant recipes I’ve seen lately – please feel free to add your favorite eggplant links in the comments. Enjoy!

EggplantTitledTST

Mediterranean Eggplant, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • dried marjoram
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 10 oz. (300 g.) ricotta
  • nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 3 Tbs. crisp bread crumbs (I used whole grain panko)
  • fresh parsley and/or fresh marjoram leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices the long way, keeping the slices as even on all sides as possible. (Reserve any leftover eggplant for the sauce.) Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Spray or brush on olive oil on both sides of the eggplant slices, place in one layer on the foil-lined sheets and bake for 15 minutes to soften and make them just pliable for rolling. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly, and raise the oven temperature to 425 F/210 C.
  2. Meanwhile, wilt the spinach by pouring a teakettle full of boiling water over the spinach in a colander or mesh strainer. When cool enough to touch, use clean hands to squeeze out the moisture, then transfer to a cutting board and chop coarsely.
  3. Make the simple tomato sauce: In a saucepan, cook the minced garlic briefly in a tablespoon of olive oil, then add any leftover eggplant, diced small, and cook through. Add the tomatoes (both diced and pureed) , chopped basil, salt & pepper and 1 tsp. marjoram and cook, stirring and tasting often, adjusting seasonings as you go, for about 10 minutes.
  4. Combine the wilted & chopped spinach, ricotta, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1 tsp. marjoram, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, salt & pepper, and taste — go for a bold seasoning here, adjusting as necessary to get a tasty filling.
  5. Take a high-sided baking dish (I used a small 8-inch square ceramic baking dish with 2-inch high sides) and spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Mix together bread crumbs and 1/4 cup grated parmesan.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon or two of filling on an eggplant slice  at the widest part, then roll and place seamside-down in the baking dish. Continue with the other slices, rolling and placing in the dish until they are snug. Pour one to two ladlefuls of sauce around the sides and over them (reserve a good portion of the sauce for plating), sprinkle with additional cracked black pepper, top with the parmesan-bread crumb mixture and bake, uncovered, at 425 F/ 210 C  for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and cooked through to the center.
  7. To plate, ladle out reserved sauce onto plates, then carefully scoop out 2 to 3 eggplant rolls, careful to keep the breading on top. Garnish with fresh herbs.

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Author: Laura Haugen

Writer, Traveler, Foodie

45 thoughts on “Mediterranean Eggplant, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls

  1. Lovely recipe and thank you so much for my mention x x x

  2. Very yummy. For the carnivore, add a slice of ham to the roll of aubergine (oops…I mean eggplant). Friend of mine in Thessaloniki makes something similar, but with Greek cheeses and definitely the ham. I like them just as you posted them – a refreshing meal!

  3. Reblogged this on foodbod and commented:
    If it’s got aubergine in it, it’s a winner with me ☺️☺️

  4. CRIKEY ! As my dear friend Elaine says, LOVELY recipe ! She and I both have a pash for eggplant/aubergine/melanzane. Many thanks !

  5. This is one of my favourite ways to cook aubergines. I make something like this with hallow I cheese…I will try your beautifully photographed and enticing version out x

  6. This is lovely. I don’t know why, apart from the obvious fact that it is delicious and pretty, but I always feel attracted to eggplant rolls, whatever the filling inside. I have never tried ricotta, but I love the idea, and the gorgeous tomato sauce and fresh herbs just add to the loveliness of this dish. I’ll definitely try this dish, and soon!
    Check out my eggplant rolls for meatlovers ( http://tortore.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/introduction-a-la-cuisine-irakienne-lafat-al-betinjan-roules-aux-aubergines/ ) and vegans ( http://tortore.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/petits-roules-aux-aubergines-farce-aux-noix-recette-georgienne/ )

  7. Loving that you’re using marjoram, nutmeg and Parmesan together. With marjoram I’ve only really used it with strong tasting salads, like mackerel or beetroot. And I really should look at more Central European dishes that use marjoram as its main herb (as it doesn’t seem to be used very often over here).

    Thank you for the link. As I’ve already seen Nancy’s aubergine stacks I’ll be heading over to Foodbod, as baba ganoush is something I’ve never had.

    • Great, and thanks for letting me share your link. I like the subtle flavor of marjoram, it’s not as intense as oregano and has a softer texture, even dried. This was my first time highlighting marjoram in a dish so prominently.

  8. Beautiful dish! I’ve made something similar….but not nearly as picture perfect as yours! I can’t seem to get enough eggplant lately and I’ll definitely be giving your recipe a try. Now, if I could only get the same gorgeous results. Thanks for the mention also. 🙂

    • Thank YOU, Nancy! Your eggplant stacks are picture perfect if I’ve ever seen any! Thanks for letting me share your link; I think you planted the idea of eggplant in my brain when you made those 🙂

  9. It looks seriously good and I have an eggplant in the fridge…I might just have to pop down for the ricotta for dinner tonight- thanks!

  10. This looks amazing! I am a carnivore all the way as well, but this dish makes me think I wouldn’t miss anything by it being meatless. Marjoram is one of those herbs I’ve seen and always wanted to try, but am not familiar with so I never have. I don’t even think I’ve gotten to taste it while eating at restaurants! What is its aroma and flavor like? What other dishes is it often used in?

    • Thanks, I’m so glad you like the idea of this. It was my first time using marjoram in cooking too. I found it to be lighter, subtler, more “green” and almost floral compared to oregano, but they are very similar. I saw marjoram in a package of fresh herbs labeled Herbes de Provence – I never knew marjoram was in that herb blend and made me think I should try it!

  11. This dish looks absolutely stunning! And delicious!

  12. This looks absolutely fabulous and delicious!

  13. Anything with spinach has to be good Elaine. The addition of eggplant and ricotta just makes it better. Can’t wait to try it.

  14. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dishes like this– looks fabulous!! 🙂

  15. This dish looks fantastic. I need some crusty bread to dip into that sauce & I am all set 😀

  16. Oh more eggplant! So yummy! Your rolls look perfect, Laura. So pretty. 🙂

  17. I’m not exactly the biggest eggplant fan.. However, this looks so delicious I’m really thinking of trying it! 🙂

  18. I love aubergine roll-ups- these look delicious! Loving the spinach and ricotta filling- amazing!

  19. Look at the colours and flavours in this dish! This looks like something I can prep ahead of time, so it will be great when friends come over. Thanks for the recipe, and the links too! 😀

    • Yes, this would be great to prep ahead of time – actually, that’s just what I did so I could take photos in daylight! Then I stuck it all in the fridge, snugly wrapped, and reheated at 190 C/375 F until warm and bubbly again. I did keep the extra sauce separate and reheated that on the stovetop – that ensures that you’ll have enough sauce if the eggplant rolls soak up the sauce in the dish. Thanks for your comments SG!

  20. Pingback: Plavi patlidžan na mediteranski način | Recepti

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