Easy eggplant rolls filled with simple ricotta and topped with a Sicilian sweet and sour sauce
Author:Michele M. Becci
2 large eggplants
For the agrodolce sauce:
¼ cup sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup honey
Dash red pepper
8 ounces fresh ricotta
A few handfuls pine nuts, toasted
A few sprigs fresh mint, plus additional for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice the eggplants into rounds about ½ inch thick. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to drain for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, honey, red pepper and a healthy pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn to low and allow to simmer until the sauce is reduced and thick, almost like caramel, about 30 minutes. (The sauce becomes thicker as it cools so be careful not to allow to become too thick.)
Make the ricotta: Mix the ricotta with about 2/3 of the pine nuts. Chop the fresh mint leaves and add to the ricotta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lightly rinse and dry the eggplant slices. Using an outdoor grill or grill pan, lightly coat with oil. Fry the eggplant slices until soft and browned on both sides, about 5 minutes each. Remove to a platter as you cook them.
Take a slice of eggplant and fill with a few spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture. Roll the eggplant and place on a serving platter. Continue until all the eggplant is rolled. Drizzle the eggplant slices with the agrodolce sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and mint leaves and serve!