I know.  Sounds incredibly fancy and complicated.

It’s not.

If I was about to take you on an in-depth, detailed, meticulous kitchen experiment like, say, de-boning a duck–I would give you a heads up.  But honestly, gourmet meals aren’t as difficult as they’re quacked up to be.

…Damnit, Dad I blame you for raising me on puns.

Eggplant Rollatini is simply thin sliced roasted or fried eggplant stuffed with a mixture of ricotta cheese and fresh herbs, rolled, and topped with marinara.  Cooking is all about putting your own spin on things.  People ask me all the time where I come up with the ideas for my recipes.  The truth is that I wake up in the middle of the night shouting things like, “Grilled swordfish with lemon dill aoili?!”  Typically when I’m in a meeting at work, I look down at my notes and discover that where I thought I wrote “Create project spreadsheet” I’ve actually written…

“Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese Pesto.”

So yes, these ideas do just spring into my mind all throughout the day.  But for those of you who don’t have food on the brain 24/7..


…but want to create your own unique recipes in the kitchen, my advice to you is this.  Take ingredients and foods that YOU like and incorporate them into recipes that sound interesting.  If you make my Stuffed Eggplant Rollatini but can’t stand kale, then use spinach.  If you don’t care for onions, leave them out.  If you love roasted red peppers, throw some of those bad boys in there.  I’m just here to show you a technique.

You take it from there.

Stuffed Eggplant Rollatini with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Balsamic Onions, and Brown Butter Kale over Heirloom Tomato Marinara

(full recipe at the bottom)


Thanks to my obsession with figs, I stumbled upon this recipe in the magnificent girl & the fig cookbook.  It’s simply thinly sliced onions cooked down with lots of honey and balsamic vinegar until the onions have absorbed all of the liquid.

IMG_0349Thinly sliced eggplant is brushed with olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and herbs de provence.


Kale is sauteed in nutty brown butter.  No idea how to make brown butter?  It couldn’t be easier and takes less than five minutes to make.

Learn how to whip up brown butter here.


Any good jarred marinara sauce will do here but a homemade marinara is a wonderful, fresh complement to the roasted flavor of the eggplant.

I make mine with heirloom tomatoes, one can of crushed tomatoes, lots of fresh basil, and a touch of cream.

Get that recipe here.


Lay out all of your ingredients on an assembly line.


I wanted something extra special in this dish so I opted for prosciutto: a dry cured Italian ham that’s salty and delicately sweet.  I bet you’re thinking…

“Fanny, what the hell.  I can’t just waltz into my local grocery store and buy prosciutto.  I’m not Giada De Laurentiis.”

Well contraire, my friend.

(Thank goodness for that seven years of French I took)

Yes you can.  Even if you don’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes in your town, almost all grocery stores with a deli department will have prosciutto.  Boar’s Head makes their own and about 10 thin slices will cost you a whopping $2.

There goes that pack of bubble gum you had your eye on.

IMG_0361 IMG_0362 IMG_0363 IMG_0364

Lay out each individual eggplant slice, top with prosciutto, kale, balsamic onions, and goat cheese.





Top with marinara, parmesan, and more goat cheese.

IMG_0367 IMG_0368

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes to heat through.

IMG_0371Serve with simple roasted asparagus.

IMG_0369 IMG_0372 IMG_0374 IMG_0376 IMG_0378 IMG_0381

Stuffed Eggplant Rollatini with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Balsamic Onions, and Brown Butter Kale over Heirloom Tomato Marinara

**Recipe based on 2-3 servings**

Ingredients: 1 large Japanese eggplant / 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar / 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil / 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt / /2 teaspoon cracked black pepper / 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (substitute: dried oregano) / 1 cup balsamic onions / 1 cup brown butter kale / 10 thin slices prosciutto / goat cheese / parmesan cheese / heirloom tomato and basil marinara


1. Cut eggplant into long thin strips 1/4 inch thick.  Not sure how big that is?  Check this out

2. In a bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and dried herbs

3. Brush over eggplant and grill about 2 minutes per side (until you see char marks and eggplant is tender)

4. Let eggplant cool

5. Lay out one slice of cooled eggplant and top with prosciutto, balsamic onions, brown butter kale, goat cheese, and parmesan

6. Roll and place into a baking dish

7. Repeat with all eggplant slices

8. Top with heirloom marinara, more goat cheese, more parmesan, and fresh herbs if you have them (basil, oregano, thyme)

9. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until heated through

10. Serve with roasted asparagus (recipe below)


Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients: 1 large bunch of asparagus (enough so everyone has 8-10) / olive oil / kosher or sea salt/ cracked black pepper / lemon zest


1. Rinse asparagus under water and then let dry

2. Pick up one stalk and holding it at both ends, let it snap.  Where it breaks off is where you should cut the remaining asparagus

3. Toss asparagus in one tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper

4. Roast at 400 until a sharp knife slides right through the thickest end of the thickest asparagus (8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks)

5. Once out of the oven, taste for more salt and sprinkle with lemon zest