Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Very Vegan Eggplant Rollatini Thanksgiving

Because VM has had so much practice over the years, she has long since mastered the veganization of any and all of her famous Thanksgiving side dishes.  This year has been busier than most, so when I found this terrific new product we agreed that we'd forgo all of the various traditional preparations in favor of one, epic dish.

And by "we", I of course mean "she"; VM cooks, I document.

By the time I showed my face on Thanksgiving morning afternoon, VM was well on her way.  Her sauce was already simmering:

 And the eggplants were mid-peel:


Once I started photographing she really kicked it into high gear and prepared her frying assembly line.

Side one of the first batch:

Side two:

Cooling (would anyone recommend baking the coated eggplant to eliminate or at least decrease the oil, or would that negate their fried flexibility?):

Time to try the Tofutti ricotta.

It came out of the container quite dense, so I fork smushed it.

Parsley, salt, pepper, and a handful of Daiya mozzarella shreds:

Time to assemble:





Sprinkle with Daiya:

Cover with sauce & more Daiya (even more if VM isn't looking):

Bake at 360 degrees for 45 minutes, loosely covered with tin foil.

Some people like it served atop their gemelli:

Others beside:

No matter the placement, prepare to be WOWED!

I ordered an epi loaf for the holiday; it was even more gigantic than usual.

I cut the loaf at the joints, spritzed them with olive oil and coated them with garlic...

and then I smothered them in Daiya mozzarella too: 25 minutes at 360 degrees.

Voila; cheesy bread:

The meal was more than a success.  SO GOOD!!!  The sauce alone deserved (and received) a standing ovation.


And, in honor of Thanksgiving, turkeys!

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
Did you know that turkeys are super soft and their heads feel like warm brains?  They also act as mood rings, changing color depending on their mood- from red to blue. 

Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen
This is the first turkey I ever met; I was astounded by how beautiful a creature it was.  Please make it a Thanksgiving for all living beings; go vegan.


  1. wait a minute!!!! I recognize those shoes!!!! I've finally cracked your secret identify!

  2. Happy thanksgiving Abby Bean,
    Ps- how do you know what "warm brains" feel like? Do warm brains feel different than room temperature brains?

  3. Thanks, Ant; to you and your fam as well! Also, excellent point.

    Anon, how do you know I don't have a room full of shoes?

  4. What is epi loaf??
    A guy at work was telling me that his Italian grandmother didn't "get" Thanksgiving and accidentally cooked a capon rather than a turkey, which sounded close enough to me. I wonder why she even bothered when people are obviously happy enough with pasta and rollatini. Even vegan rollatini!

  5. ff- epi is great for people who like the crust more than the dough: . A capon? Gag! Spaghetti 4eva!!!

  6. THis looks really good, and I like your sweet reflections on the turkeys.

  7. YUM! I haven't seen that ricotta yet - where did you find it? I am fantasizing about a white vegan pizza now...

  8. Ali, the ricotta is from a Jersey Wegman's; it's not even on the Tofutti website(?)!

  9. I think you shop at my Wegmans because I saw that Tofutti Ricotta there this week :-) Yeah, baby!

    P.S. Rule of thumb: IMO, you absolutely cannot sub baked eggplant for fried, ever ever ever. Because fried is always awesome. And baked is usually rubbery or just sub-par no matter how much oil or sauce you use.

    P.P.S., For those of you who cannot find or don't care about a new vegan ricotta, just make your own cashew ricotta, it is SO SO easy:


  10. Why would anyone want a turkey when they could have rollatini? Those fried babies look delectable — baking them might make them mushy, but what do I know. You can bake your eggplant on Tuesday, but on Thanksgiving, you should fry.

  11. Abby,

    Okay, I'm going to let the cat out of the bag. You saved me some of VM's Eggplant Rollatini, and I had it for dinner last night. I have one question and one statement:

    Question; How much would it be to rent VM for my next holiday party?

    Statement; John's on 12th in NYC has nothing on VM's Italian cooking.

  12. MVG- HA! I'm goint to let you in on a secret as well...VM fought me tooth and nail to be able to save you some; I would have eaten every last bite! Kidding! Maybe...


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