Eggplant

Eggplant Cannelloni

This one is an easy dinner that’s sure to impress should you choose to have (the dreaded) company over. It’s also a great summer meal for those hot nights when you don’t want to break your back in the kitchen. Sure, the oven may be required, but the run time is short! If you’re looking for a little more protein, feel free to throw some grilled chicken, seafood, pork or beef on the side. I prefer to serve these vegetarian eggplant cannelloni’s with a fresh, roasted vegetable. Pictured below with sautéed spinach and lentils.

 

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Eggplant Cannelloni

Serves: 4 main course

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 large shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jars (12 ounces each) roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
Cooking spray
4 ounces goat cheese
5 kalamata olives, pitted and minced
1 teaspoon drained capers, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sauté   shallots and garlic until soft for 1-2 minutes, then reduce heat. Cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppers and juice; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside and cool. Place in a food processor and blend until pureed . Pour mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Meanwhile, coat eggplant slices with cooking spray and broil on a baking sheet until golden on both sides, about 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 400°F. Combine goat cheese, olives, capers and 1 tablespoon of the parsley in a bowl. Place 1 tablespoon of filling at the end of each eggplant slice; roll up. Lay seam side down in dish. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Plate and enjoy!

Eggplant, Spinach & Tomato Pizza

If someone asked me to make a list of 5 foods I could never give up, pizza would definitely be on it. I mean come on! It’s cheese on bread. You throw some meat and/or vegetables on there and I’m basically yours forever. No really, a friend once made me homemade pizza (crust and all from scratch) and I gave him my social security number as a thank you. Identity theft be damned! That pizza was delicious.

Now I do not have the prowess to make my own pizza crust at this point in my culinary life, but this pizza was still the bomb.com. I purchased the whole-wheat crust from Trader Joe’s. I’ve also used Whole Foods crusts before – both are incredibly easy to work with. If you’re thinking you can cheat with a Boboli crust, put it down and back away from its vacuum packed sealing. Trust me. The extra 15 minutes required for preparing the raw dough will be well worth it.

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Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

 

Broiled Eggplant & Tomato Pizza

Serves: 6

1 raw (16oz) whole-wheat pizza crust dough, refrigerated
1 small eggplant, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces part-skim buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced*
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh, diced chives

Directions:
Preheat broiler. Combine prepared eggplant and tomatoes on a broiling pan lined with aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place pan in broiler, broil for 6-8 minutes until eggplant has browned and tomatoes are lightly charred – turn halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat olive oil over low-medium heat. Add minced garlic and simmer until fragrant, but not burned – 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare crust according to directions. I took mine out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before starting to work with it to help the dough warm up and become a little more pliable.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and stretch dough onto it. Drizzle crust with garlic infused olive oil, top with sliced mozzarella, spinach, broiled eggplant/tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for ~ 15 minutes until pizza is cooked through and crust is golden brown. Top with parsley and chives, cut and enjoy!

*Recipe Note:

Buffalo Mozzarella – I recommend using a serrated knife to slice, it helps create thinner slices and prevent slices from falling apart.

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman