What happens when you combine parmesan risotto and super thin strips of cooked eggplant? Eggplant Rollatini of course!! It’s one of my most favorite comfort meals and it’s even better if you have any leftovers!!
When I first started making risotto I felt pretty damn fancy! I remember when I was a kid and I’d see it on a menu it always sounded SO grown up. So naturally when I started making it myself I was pretty pumped. But guess what guys… it’s actually incredibly easy! It’s just a simple rice dish and it just requires a bit of attention as you have to continually stir it while you’re cooking. But other than that, it’s a no brainer! I make it for most special occasions when I’m not in the mood for meat. It’s a perfect main course or side dish and you can flavor the risotto however you want. This time it’s a Parm risotto but the magic REALLY happens when you take a few tablespoons of the rice, roll it up in a piece of eggplant and then bake it off for a hot second. It’s magical. And you’re going to want it this holiday season for sure.
- For the risotto:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio Rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the eggplant:
- 2 large eggplant
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1 15- ounce jar marinara sauce
- Fresh basil for garnish
- In a large skillet heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the rice to the skillet, and stir for 1 minute to just toast the rice.
- Once the rice has slightly toasted, add the white wine and stir to combine. Wait until all the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, making sure to let each batch of chicken stock absorb before adding the next. Continue to stir the risotto the entire time, about 25-30 minutes. Once you've added all your stock, and the rice is tender, remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and mascarpone cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Slice the ends off of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch lengthwise slices (long slices, not circles), about 6 slices total per eggplant. Liberally salt the slices and transfer them into a colander for about 1 hour. Rinse the salt off the eggplant and press with paper towels to dry.
- Heat a skillet on the stove with high heat. Brush both sides of the eggplant liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides until the eggplant is pliable. Remove the eggplant once cooked and place on a large baking sheet to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place half of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a small baking dish. Add a few spoonfuls of the cooled risotto on top of the eggplant slices, roll the eggplant up and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat this with the remaining risotto and eggplant and then add a spoonful of the remaining marinara sauce on top of each. Dust with shredded Parmesan cheese. Transfer the baking dish into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and shredded basil if desired.