SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME: 20 MINUTES. TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES.
A creamy cashew sauce stands in for ricotta in this plant-based bake. We top it with Pecorino Romano cheese, but if you prefer to keep it dairy-free, you can use a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
2 large eggplants 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil ½ tsp each salt and ground black pepper, divided 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, drained 1 cup fresh basil leaves + additional for garnish 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped ½ lemon, zested and juiced 1 jarred roasted red pepper (about 1 oz), sliced lengthwise into 1-inch thick strips 1½ cups marinara sauce ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice top and bottom off eggplants and discard. Slice each eggplant lengthwise into 4 ½-inch-thick slices. Arrange on prepared sheet and brush with oil; season with onehalf of each salt and pepper. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
3. Meanwhile, make filling: To a food processor, add softened cashews, basil leaves, garlic, lemon zest and juice and remaining one-half each salt and pepper. Process to a wellblended but slightly chunky texture.
4. Place 1 strip roasted red pepper onto each eggplant slice and divide filling over top of each. Roll up and arrange in an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish. Cover with marinara sauce and top with cheese. Cover dish with parchment paper and then foil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; remove cover and bake for another 2 minutes. Top each slice with additional basil.
If following our Meal Plan, freeze 1 serving for later in the week; refrigerate remaining servings. Reheat in oven when called for. Garnish with fresh chopped basil just before serving.
PER SERVING (1/4 of recipe): Calories: 379, Total Fat: 23 g, Sat. Fat: 4 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Carbs: 38 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugars: 17 g, Protein: 12 g, Sodium: 626 mg, Cholesterol: 5 mg