Recipe Corner: Eggplant Walnut Ricotta Rolls With Fresh Greens and Basil Salad


eggplantBy Christine Vartanian Datian



6 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise in 1/2-inch slices

Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

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1/2 cup finely ground walnuts, (about 1 cup whole walnuts ground in a food processor)

2 cloves garlic, finely grated or chopped

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Juice and zest from 1 lemon

Canola oil



For the Salad

8-10 cups tossed mixed salad greens

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup candied walnuts

1 large handful fresh basil



Wash eggplants, cut off and discard stems. On a cutting board, using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice each eggplant lengthwise in long pieces, 1/2-inch thick.

Sprinkle eggplant slices with some Kosher salt and place in a large colander to drain for 15 to 20 minutes. Discard liquid.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, dill, sea salt, nutmeg, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix all ingredients until smooth in texture and set aside. (Ricotta filling should be chilled until ready to use.)

In a large deep skillet, pour ½-inch canola oil and heat over medium heat until oil is hot. Blot the pieces of eggplant with paper towel to remove any water droplets and fry eggplant slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 90 seconds per side. Remove from pan to drain flat on paper towels.

Place slices of eggplant on a tray or dish and spread a tablespoon or two of the ricotta filling across each slice; roll up pinwheel style and repeat until all eggplant slices have been filled and rolled.

In a medium bowl, toss salad greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Arrange salad on four serving plates and serve with the eggplant walnut ricotta rolls.  Toss torn basil leaves over the salad.  Garnish salad with candied walnuts.


Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


For Christine’s recipe that was originally published in the New York Times, go to:


Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and at
For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to:



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