Articles & Recipes

Grilled "Eggplant Rollatini" (Vegan)

Ashley Sperber - Friday, May 20, 2016
Grilled "Eggplant Rollatini" (Vegan)

I recently had raw lasagna at one of my favorite vegan restaurants in Manhattan (Peacefood) and felt very much compelled to do my own recreation of flavors.

Traditionally eggplant rollatini is comprised of thinly sliced, fried and rolled pieces of eggplant that are stuffed with ricotta and spinach and then topped with mozzarella and baked. With my primary goals of time, ease and health in mind, I fast tracked the preparation method of this dish with simple modifications.

If you don't have cashews already soaking over night, you can boil them for approximately 15 minutes, then cool them for at least a half hour.

prep time: 20 minutes
serving size: 4-6

1 large eggplant
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

cashew cheese:
1 cup soaked cashews
1/4 cup plain almond milk or water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups raw baby spinach
1 small clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste

tomato concentrate:
1/2 cup of tomato paste
1 small clove of garlic, roasted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh basil 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
sea salt to taste

First turn a grill or grill pan on medium heat.  Slice the eggplant in 1/2 inch slices. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper.  After the grill pan is hot (2-3 minutes)  lay the slices on each side for approximately 3 minutes.  Carefully remove the eggplant with a metal spatula, and set aside.  In the meantime, add all ingredients for the cashew cheese to a food processor and blend until an even consistency appears.  Place the mixture into a bowl and leave uncovered in the refrigerator so my moisture can escape.  Thoroughly clean the food processor for tomato puree preparation.

Start the baby spinach by putting a sautee pan over low-medium heat, and add olive oil.  Roughly chop the 2 cloves of garlic (one for the spinach, and one for the tomato puree).  Lightly toast the garlic, remove half of it and put it into the food processor with all other tomato puree ingredients.  Puree ingredients to an even consistency and also place the mixture in the refrigerator so moisture can escape.  Sautee the spinach over light heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper as desired.  Drain spinach and set it aside.  Remove the cashew cheese from the refrigerator and place it into a ziplock bag (or a pastry bag if you're fancy) and clip a very small corner off of the bottom of the bag.  Pipe the cheese onto the eggplant. (You can also spoon the mixture on if you prefer) Approximately 1-2 tablespoons of cheese should be sufficient.

Top the layer of cashew cheese with a lesser amount of tomato puree: 2 teaspoons puree to 1 tablespoon cheese.  Finish with a spoonful of sauteed spinach over the tomato puree. 

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