If you’ve given up dairy, you might be missing Italian specialties like eggplant rollatini. Now you don’t have to, with Laura Theodore’s delectably spicy vegan eggplant rollatini featuring an easy tofu-based ricotta stand-in.
Laura says, “Classic rollatini features thinly sliced eggplant rolled up around a ricotta cheese filling and baked in a flavorful tomato sauce, but this recipe has a welcome vegan twist. My plant-powered version uses a quick, homemade dairy-free ‘ricotta’ in place of traditional cheese. The result is an appetizing, tasty entrée that rivals the original.”
Recipe is from Easy Vegan Home Cooking by Laura Theodore © 2022. Published by Hatherleigh Press, February, 2022. Photo credit: Laura Theodore. Reprinted by Permission. Available on Bookshop.org*, Amazon*, and wherever books are sold.
Laura Theodore is a recognized public television personality, 3-time TASTE award winning vegan chef, cookbook author, podcast radio host, and award-winning recording artist. Tune in for the latest season of Laura’s vegan television show, Jazzy Vegetarian, airing nationally on the Create Network (check local listings) and listen to The Laura Theodore Podcast on Apple Podcasts. Visit Laura on the web at Jazzy Vegetarian.
Vegan Chive Ricotta
- 14-to 16-ounce tub extra-firm tofu, well drained and broken into chunks
- ⅓ cup (firmly packed) chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Several grinds of black pepper
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 12 to 14 slices (each about ⅛ inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- ¼ rounded teaspoon garlic powder
- 2⅓ cups prepared flavorful vegan marinara sauce or pasta sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (use ¼ teaspoon for less spicy)
- ½ rounded cup diced red or sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions, plus more for garnish
- Cooked quinoa, pasta, or rice for serving
- Put the tofu, chives, olive oil, tamari, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into a medium-sized bowl. Mash to the consistency of chunky ricotta cheese using a potato masher or large fork.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in an even layer on the baking sheet. Brush 2 tablespoons oil over the eggplant slices. Sprinkle the eggplant with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, just until the eggplant slices are beginning to soften and have become pliable. Don’t overcook! Put the baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Put 1 cup vegan marinara sauce and 1 tablespoon olive oil into the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish and stir with a spoon to evenly coat the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the crushed red pepper evenly over the sauce. Arrange the diced onion in an even layer over the sauce.
- Spoon 2 to 2½ heaping tablespoons of Vegan Chive Ricotta onto one end of each eggplant slice. Gently roll the eggplant slice tightly around the ricotta and place it, seam side down, on top of the sauce and onions in the
baking dish. Continue in this manner until you have 12 to 14 rolls.
- Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the remaining marinara sauce over each roll, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions over the rolls.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender.
- Put the dish on a wire rack and carefully uncover (steam will be hot!) Let stand 5 to 7 minutes. Serve 2 to 3 rolls per person arranged quinoa, pasta, or rice, garnished with more chopped chives or scallions.
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