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.
- 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
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.