The main content

Grilled Eggplant Roll-Ups


  • 1 large or 2 medium firm eggplants

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (a couple of handfuls)

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (a generous handful)

  • 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (28 ounces), such as Muir Glen brand

  • 2 pinches cinnamon

  • 8 slices capicola (spicy, Italian salami)

  • 1 pound ball smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced


Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Heat a large grill pan or grill to medium-high. Trim a little skin off the eggplant so it sits stable on its side. Trim another slice of skin off the first side, then cut the eggplant into eight slices lengthwise, each about 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick.

Brush the slices with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and seared with grill marks, about three minutes on each side. Cook in two batches if necessary. While the eggplant is on the grill, mix the ricotta with the Pecorino Romano and parsley.

Heat the remaining EVOO from basting the eggplant in a small saucepot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and bay leaf and season with salt and lots of black pepper. Cook for five minutes to soften the veggies then add the tomatoes and cinnamon. Simmer five minutes more. Remove the eight eggplant steaks from the grill and top each one with a slice of ham. Place 1/4 cup of cheese on one end of each steak, then wrap and roll the eggplant.

Set into a small casserole. Place a dollop of sauce on each rollup and top with the thinly sliced smoked mozzarella. 

Bake 20 minutes until ricotta is set and cheese has melted to golden and bubbly on top. Pass remaining sauce around at the table.