Japanese Eggplant Goes Italian!

 

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The Japanese eggplant has a tender, slightly sweet skin which makes it perfect for this Italian dish, no peeling required! Using a mandolin assures that your slices will be thin for even cooking, but be careful!! …..Sharp blades.  Kale and baby Portobello mushrooms add an earthiness, while the creamy cheeses melt in your mouth….Brings me right back to Rome!

Here’s what you will need:

2 Japanese Eggplants – sliced thin lengthwise

1 jar of vegetarian marinara sauce of choice

15 oz. container of part skim or whole ricotta cheese

1 egg

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 cups of baby bella mushrooms sliced

2 cups of kale, ribs removed and chopped

½ cup chopped scallions

1 clove of garlic diced small

1 tablespoon olive oil plus a little more for drizzling

Salt and Pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a medium size bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan and ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add egg, chopped parsley and salt and pepper.

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In a sauté pan on medium heat,  add olive oil, sauté the onions, mushrooms and kale until tender.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper, set aside to cool.

 

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Lay out a strip of eggplant on a chopping board season with salt and pepper.  Spread cheese mixture on the “noodle” and top with the vegetable mixture. Gently roll the eggplant and place it in baking dish lined with a little marinara sauce. Top with more sauce and the remaining cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil.

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Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for about 5 more minutes.  Makes 4 – 6 servings. Warm and comforting…. Buon Appetito!

 

 

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