Skip to main content

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.

Rachael Ray