- 1 eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 1/2 pound fresh ricotta (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives, plus 16 whole chives
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 plum tomato—peeled, seeded and finely diced
- Lightly sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Preheat a grill pan. Blot the eggplant slices dry with paper towels and brush with olive oil. Grill the eggplant over moderate heat, turning once, until tender and lightly charred, about 6 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a platter and let cool.
- Working over a bowl, press the ricotta through a sieve. Add the snipped chives and season with salt and pepper. Stir the diced tomato into the filling.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the whole chives and blanch for 10 seconds. Drain and pat dry.
- Spread the ricotta filling over the eggplant slices and cut each in half crosswise. Roll the halves lengthwise into small cylinders and tie with the blanched chives. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then serve.
A Soave from Italy's Veneto region complements the smoky creaminess of these involtini.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.