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Grilled eggplant roll-ups with ricotta pesto

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Grilled eggplant roll-ups with ricotta pesto
A combination of robust herby pesto and creamy ricotta rolled up in slices of smoky, tender grilled eggplant. You can serve them as part of an antipasto selection, or as a side dish with Mediterranean-style grilled fish, chicken or skewers.

2 medium eggplants

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup pesto (homemade or store bought)

2 teaspoons lemon juice


PREHEAT a stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill over high heat. CUT the eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 6 slices each eggplant). BRUSH the eggplant slices evenly with olive oil on both sides. GRILL the eggplant slices in batches for 3 minutes each side. ALLOW to cool slightly. MIX the ricotta cheese, pesto and lemon juice together in a small bowl. SPREAD a heaped tablespoon of the mixture evenly over each eggplant slice. ROLL up the eggplant slices, place on a plate seam-side down, brush with a little olive oil if desired, and serve immediately.

Variations: Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, roasted red pepper or prosciutto to the ricotta-pesto mixture for even more flavor and texture. For smaller bite-size roll-ups substitute grilled zucchini slices for eggplant, use less ricotta-pesto mixture in each, and secure rolls with a toothpick.



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