Eggplant is one of those garden vegetables that keeps on giving. There are many recipes for eggplant that really make eggplant taste good. This is one of those. The cheeziness goodness of this dish accents the eggplant very well. Use a larger eggplant so you get nice long slices to roll up. This recipe fits a small square 8×8 or oblong casserole. Double for a 9×13 pan.
1 large eggplant
1/3 to 3/4 jar of marinara sauce
1/2 cup of fresh basil, sliced thinly
3 cups Swiss chard leaves, cut into thin strips
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 to 2 cups ricotta cheese (you can make your own very easily)
Garlic powder, salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 fresh tomato
Leftover bacon grease from your last BLT.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut off the ends of the eggplant and slice the long way so you get nice long slices about 1/4 inch wide. Don’t use the end pieces, as there is a lot of skin on those. Line a large sheet pan with the slices. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Set into oven for 10 minutes, take out and let cool.
While the eggplant is cooking, put the Swiss chard in a large cast iron skillet. Coat the skillet heavily with the bacon grease, warm up on medium heat. Add the Swiss chard. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook until soft.
In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little garlic powder. Mix well. Mixture should be a bit thick, adjust by adding more ricotta cheese if needed. Taste and adjust.
Spray casserole dish with vegetable spray. On each slice of eggplant put about 1/4 cup or more of cheese on and roll up into a roll. The eggplant will be nice and soft and will roll up very easily. Continue with rest of slices. If you have cheese mixture left, save it for topping under the marinara sauce. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Next, spread the marinara sauce on top of the rolls, spread out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Top with sliced tomatoes.
Put in preheated 350 oven and bake until cheese is melted and dish looks a bit golden. Let set about 15 minutes before serving.