#MeatlessMonday meets 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative Recipe 13: Eggplant Rolltini

Broccoli and Eggplant
Broccoli and Eggplant

Okay, it’s #meatlessmonday again, which means it’s time to do right by yourself and the earth by going twenty-four short hours without meat.  Sound tough?  Not when you have

Eggplant Rollitini

I just love eggplant and I swear after this, so will you!

Also, you may have noticed, this is another fantasic 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative recipe, wherein I take the delicious vegetables that Shawna Coronado has grown and make them into dinner for family of four for less than $11.50.  Sadly, because winter is here (feels like it never left did it??? :)) the growing season is almost over, so there won’t be many more of these in 2009.  But fear not, while the veggies keep coming, so will delicious, healthy dinners for less than $11.50.

With that being said, this particular recipe was inspired by Jasper’s here in Kansas City.  It was one of the dishes Chef fixed during the Best Meal I Ever Ate.   It was wonderful then and I just hope I can do it justice for less than $11.50!

Making Eggplant Rollatini

The bulk of this meal will be the eggplant rollitini, which is simply grilled or sauteed slices of eggplant rolled around thick, creamy ricotta cheese.  To give the meal a little bulk, we take the beautiful looking broccoli, saute it up, and then add it to some pasta for a complete meal–all for less than $11.50!

One quick note: This recipe may read as a little disjointed, but the idea is to get hot eggplant and pasta on the table at the same time so I mixed the steps for both recipes together.

You will need:

  • 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise in 1/4 inch strips (free from Shawna’s garden)
  • Salt to taste (free for the challenge)
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil (free for the challenge) (divided)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (free from Shawna’s garden)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (50 cents)
  • Pinch red pepper flake (5 cents)
  • Pepper to taste (free for the challenge)
  • 12 ounces ricotta (3.50)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (25 cents)
  • 4 services whole wheat pasta ($2.00)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (75 cents)

Total: $7.05 (That’s way under $11.50!)

Eggplant Preproduction

Sprinkle the eggplant generously on both sides with salt and let it sit on a cookie cooling rack or cookie sheet for up to an hour.  This will slowly start to draw some of the water out of the eggplant.

While the salt is doing its thing, mix the ricotta and the garlic powder. 

Pasta Production

Set aside the eggplant and bring a saucepan full of water to boil.  Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes.  Immediately dump into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

Next, add about 8 tablespoons of olive oil with the minced garlic and red pepper flake to a skillet.  Set the heat to medium and let the oil slowly get hot.  Once the oil starts to bubble, add the broccoli and wait for the oil to bubble again.  Then set the heat to low.

Also, get the pasta cooking according to package directions.

Eggplant Time

Finally, you can make the eggplant.

When you are ready to cook the eggplant, wipe the salt off with a paper towel then brush with olive oil.  (This should take about 2 tablespoons to do both sides of the eggplant, but could be as many as 4.)  Then sprinkle with black pepper.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the eggplant 2 minuntes on each side or until the eggplant is still firm, but cooked through.  Put a tablespoon of ricotta on each eggplant slice and roll it around the ricotta.

Bring It On Home

When the pasta is ready, drain it and mix the pasta in the olive oil sauce.  Serve alongside the eggplant and enjoy!

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