Why we love it:
- 1 Eggplant (large, or 2 smaller ones, at least 2 ½ pounds total)
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
- 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
- 3 cups Mozzarella (shredded) (divided)
- 1 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes (or marinara sauce)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 4 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
- 3 Tablespoons Salad Dressing (of your choice)
- 1 bunch Basil (optional)
1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375 DEGREES
Slice off the very top and a tiny bit of the bottom of the eggplant. Use a peeler lengthwise between the slices on 2 sides of the eggplant only (though round-ish, picture it being a square and peel 2 sides). Slice lengthwise, as thin and even as you can, aiming for ¼” slices. Begin your slices on the peeled side so that each piece has a thin strip of skin only on the sides.
Lay eggplant on a baking sheet and toss with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Lay evenly, overlapping is ok. Roast for about 12 minutes, opening the oven to rotate and flip the slices about halfway through. Remove when they’re lightly browned in places and soft.
4. CHEESE + SAUCE
Meanwhile, stir together the ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 cups ricotta cheese, zest and juice of the lemon, and ½ of the mozzarella - that’s 1 ½ cups.
If using plain tomatoes, open the can and stir in the garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. If using marinara sauce, just open it.
Use a 9 x 13 casserole dish or any shape you have. Pour about half of the tomato sauce in.
Lay an eggplant slice in front of you, add about 1 ½ -2 Tablespoons of cheese, and roll firmly but don’t squeeze it out the sides (the amount of cheese can vary by how sturdy or wide each slice is. If any have holes in them or aren’t perfectly shaped, add less cheese and just roll anyway, some gaping out is totally fine).
Place seam side down in the dish, nestled in the sauce. Repeat until done. Top with the rest of the tomato sauce and cheese.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
Serve with lettuces tossed with salad dressing. Leftovers can be frozen or refrigerated.