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Vegan Eggplant Rollatini

This Vegan Eggplant Rollatini is a great meal for your summer menu. It's light, yet satisfying and it's brimming with char-broiled flavor. Plus, it's easy to make and requires simple, budget-friendly ingredients. 
Course Entree
Cuisine American, Italian, Vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 108kcal
Author Melissa Huggins

Ingredients

Eggplant

  • 2 large eggplants (cut length wise into 1/4" fillets)
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil , more if needed (or preferred oil)
  • 2-3 cups marinara sauce (a thicker variety)

Tofu Ricotta

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu , drained and pressed for 20 mins (*see note)
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy yogurt , unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt , more to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil , loosely packed (*optional)

Instructions

Tofu Ricotta

  • Break up the pressed tofu with your hands into large pieces and place in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, yogurt, vinegar, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, and salt. Pulse 4-5 until you've reached desired consistency (it should have texture). Add more yogurt if it's dry or add a splash of milk, oil or water. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Now add the optional basil and pulse until you see green flecks. 

Eggplant

  • Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Place approximately 1 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13X9 baking dish to lightly coat. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle each side of the eggplant slices with salt. You can spread them out in a colander over the sink or on a baking rack with a pan underneath. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes. This will release moisture, soften them and remove any bitterness. When done, lightly rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Heat a Grill Pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. While the pan is heating, brush oil on each side of the eggplant slices to coat well. When the pan is fully heated, add the eggplant slices, leaving some room in between. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until softened and grill marks appear. Repeat until all the eggplant is grilled. (*see note for alternative to grilling)
  • Let the slices cool just enough to handle. Now add 1 heaping tablespoon of tofu ricotta (more or less depending on size of slice) to the larger end of each slice and gently roll up. Place seam-side down into baking dish. Continue until everything is used up. Pour the remaining cup of marinara down the middle of eggplant slices. Add more if needed, but don't cover completely or the eggplant will turn mushy.
  • Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until heat throughout. Enjoy!

Notes

CUTTING EGGPLANT: cut the slices no more than 1/4-inch thick or the eggplant will take longer to cook and be harder to roll. To cut, slice off the ends and stand the eggplant up. Then carefully cut into slices (you should get 16-18 slices from 2 large eggplants). The skins can be removed if preferred. A mandoline works well too. 
NON-DAIRY YOGURT: If you can't find unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, you can use unsweetened non-dairy milk or water. Just add 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Don't add to much or it will be watery. You may need to bump up the tangy flavor too. I've also used vegan sour cream to replace the yogurt and it was delish! 
PRESSING TOFU: wrap a block of tofu in a dish towel and place it on a rimmed plate. Add a cast-iron skillet on top (or something equally heavy)and let it drain for 15-20 minutes. Pat dry to remove excess moisture on the surface. You can also use a Tofu Press to make it even easier.
SAUCE: I like to use a thicker marinara sauce to avoid a watery dish. If I don't make it homemade, I like to use Newman's Own Marinara for this recipe. If you have a jar that seems watery, cook it down first on the stove for 5-7 minutes. You can add 2-3 teaspoons of nutritional yeast to thicken too.
ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO GRILLING EGGPLANT: if you don't have a grill pan, you can lay the eggplant slices out on 1-2 large baking sheets and roast them at 425° F (220° C) for 10-15 minutes to soften and make them pliable for rolling. Make sure to brush with oil first.
ALTERNATIVE TO BAKING IN OVEN: after you roll the eggplant with ricotta, you can serve it with warm sauce instead of baking it (as long as the eggplant was cooked all the way on the grill). The ricotta won't be warmed much, but it's still delicious!
TOPPING IDEAS: fresh-cut basil, pine nuts, vegan parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh-cracked pepper. 

Nutrition

Serving: 3pieces | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 676mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 494IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg