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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Eggplant and Zucchini Roll Ups

Happy Mother's Day!! 

What a great day to celebrate all the wonderful times we have had with our mothers over the years! While a lot of families chose to enjoy this day over brunch or lunch at one of the city's great restaurants, I prefer to spend the day at home or outside with my family.

Last year, we celebrated mom's birthday and mother's day at the same time, and made Eggs Benedict. This year will be similar, spending the day with mom and having lunch.

If you are planning on doing the same, I have the perfect recipe for you. And you can make it the day ahead, put it in the fridge, and just put it in the oven before lunch. That way, you have maximum "mom quality time." Alternatively, if you like to spend time in the kitchen with your mom, this could be a dish that you assemble together!

Eggplant and Zucchini Roll Ups
Recipe from Rachel Ray (slightly modified)
Serves 4

2 medium Zucchini
1 medium Eggplant
Olive Oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggian, grated
1/2 cup Fresh Mint Leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley tops, chopped
2 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten
2 cloves Garlic, made into a paste
1 fresh Chile, seeded and finely chopped
A few grates whole nutmeg
A handful fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
3 cups Marinara or Tomato Sace
4 tbsp Butter
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Slice the zucchini and eggplant into thin planks lengthwise. Toss the eggplant and zucchini with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender. Alternatively, bake in preheated 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Cool to handle.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the Parm, all but a few tablespoons of the mint and parsley, egg yolks, garlic, chiles, a few grates of nutmeg and some salt and pepper. Spoon the stuffing onto each plank of eggplant or zucchini and roll up. Arrange the rolls in a baking dish and top with a few pieces of torn basil, then cover evenly with passata or tomato sauce.

Melt the butter in a small skillet, remove from the heat and toss with the panko, remaining Parm and remaining parsley and mint. For a make-ahead meal, store the breadcrumb mix in an airtight container and the roll ups in the fridge or freezer. Scatter the topping over the top of the dish. Bake from room temperature at  375 degrees F, until golden and bubbly. 

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