After some weekends (like the one that just passed), I need to stay away from food. I ate too much and did too little and that leaves me feeling like a Heffalump! But saying that, it’s very hard to stay away from food completely, because, well, I get hungry. But I can stick to healthy, fresh food right? Let’s hope so!
For breafkast I am having a frozen mango, grape and Greek yoghurt smoothie, for lunch I’ll probably have a salad of sorts but when dinner comes around, I always feel like I need something a bit more substantial which means meat and starch right? Wrong! With this Aubergine Involtini you get some indulgent flavour from the ricotta and rich tomato sauce but none of the heaviness a traditional meat and starch meal can have. You can, of course, do this with meat but the aubergine really is lovely with the ricotta, herbs and tomato sauce.
I served the involtini with grilled sourdough bread and a simple rocket salad and I was pleased to find that no-one even noticed the omission of meat in this meal, plus, it’s perfect for Meatless Monday. Serves 4
4 large aubergine, sliced into 1cm (0.39 inches) slices
olive oil, for brushing
250g (8.82 ounces) ricotta cheese
250g (8.82 ounces) plain cream cheese/cottage cheese
2 tbsp each fresh mint, parsley and basil, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt & pepper to taste
1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
2 tins cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
black pepper, to taste
grated pecorino, for topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- Start by grilling the aubergine. Simply brush each aubergine slice with olive oil and place on a very hot griddle pan. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Continue until all the aubergine slices have been grilled.
- To make the filling, simply combine all the ingredients and mix well.
- Before making the involtini, make the tomato sauce. I use my food processor for this but you could use a hand blender or just finely chop everything and mix. I place all the ingredients in my food processor and blend until the sauce is relatively smooth.
- Pour the tomato sauce in the bottom of an oven-proof dish.
- To make the involtini, place a dollop of the ricotta filling onto a slice of aubergine and roll up. Place in the tomato sauce and continue until all the aubergine slices have been used.
- If you have any filling left over you can dollop it on top of the aubergine slices.
- Scatter the grated pecorino over the top and place in the oven.
- Allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve with grilled bread and rocket salad.
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