RECIPE

Grilled Eggplant Involtini

These pretty roll-ups look fancy, but they’re easy to whip up as a starter for your summer entertaining starter or for a light meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 large, firm eggplant
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for brushing eggplant, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 slices speck (smoked dry-cured ham) or prosciutto di Parma
  • 3-4 cups baby arugula or baby kale
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Preparation

Heat an outdoor grill or a grill pan over medium-high.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, then cut lengthwise into eight long, thin slices (1/8-1/4-inch thick). Salt the eggplant liberally and let drain on a towel for about 10 minutes; pat dry. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with EVOO and season with pepper. Grill until tender and charred in spots, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, grated cheese, walnuts, thyme and lemon zest; season.

Layer each eggplant slice with the speck, then spread with the cheese mixture. Top with the greens, tomatoes and onion. Roll up, transfer to plates and drizzle with EVOO.

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