Vegan Eggplant Involtini with Almond Ricotta Cheese is a Delicious Plant-Based and Gluten-Free version of the Italian Classic.
Our Summer this year kind of blows. There is no real heat or sunshine, and we’ve been having so much rain, our garden hardly produces any summer vegetables.
Luckily, I still get homegrown produce from our parents, which have an abundance this year.
So when I was given eggplants, which my mom grows but doesn’t eat, I knew I had to do something comforting with them.
So I made Vegan Eggplant Involtini with Almond Ricotta.
Yep, you read that right. This dish is summery, but still true comfort food. It is one of my favorite dishes this summer! And, it looks kind of stunning, too, right?
You may think this dish is complicated to make, and although there are a couple of steps, they are fairly easy.
To make Vegan Eggplant Involtini with Almond Ricotta you start by making the Almond Ricotta. Soak almonds in water for an hour (we used pre-cut blanched almonds which will soak up faster). Then, you drain them and add to your blender along with the rest of the ingredients – hot water, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, powdered garlic and onion, and a pinch of salt. Blend until roughly smooth (aim for a ricotta consistency), then fold in chopped herbs (we used basil and chives).
You can make the almond ricotta up to a day ahead and save yourself some time when making lunch.
Next, slice up your eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes, so the moisture comes out. Wipe the bitter water away, then heat up a pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, and pan-roast the eggplant slices on both sides, until they start turning golden brown and soft enough to be able to roll them. Set them aside on a plate.
Last step. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). To an oven-proof dish, add a couple of spoons of tomato sauce – you can use store-bought. We used 3 smaller portion-sized dishes, but you can do it in a large dish.
Now assemble your involtini – place a full teaspoon of almond ricotta on one side of the eggplant slices, then roll the slices up into rolls. Place each roll on top of the tomato sauce in your dish and repeat until you use up all the eggplant slices.
Then, put the dish to bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (or until the involtini turn golden and the tomato sauce thickens), then remove from the oven and serve with some plant-based parmesan.
And that’s it!
A great, comforting dish, perfect for late summer and early autumn when eggplants are in season!
And if you don’t have eggplants, you can use zucchini as well!
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp powdered garlic
- 1/4 tsp powdered onion
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs, basil and chives
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp parmesan, plant-based
- Prepare the almond ricotta: soak almonds in water for 1 hour, then drain and add them to a blender. Add hot water, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, powdered garlic and onion and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, then fold in finely chopped herbs.
- Cutt eggplants length-wise and sprinkle the slices with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes so the eggplants release the bitter water.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Remove the excess bitter water of the eggplant slices, then coat them with a bit of olive oil.
- Heat a large pan on medium heat, then add in eggplant slices and cook them on both sides until they soften and turn golden. Once cooked, remove them from the pan and set them on a plate.
- Place a full teaspoon of almond ricotta on one side of the eggplant slices, then roll the slices up into rolls. Repeat until you use up all the eggplant slices.
- To an oven-proof dish, add a couple of spoons of tomato sauce. Place eggplant involtini over the tomato sauce and drizzle with some olive oil.
- place the dish into the preheated oven and bake from about 20 minutes, until the involtini turn golden and the tomato sauce thickens.
- Remove from the oven and serve with some plant-based parmesan.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 705mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 10gSugar: 17gProtein: 12g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.
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