This vegan eggplant rollatini is healthy comfort food at it's finest! Made with tender slices of roasted eggplant stuffed with creamy dairy-free ricotta cheese and baked in zesty marinara sauce, this scrumptious dinner will quickly become a favorite.
Cut the top off of the eggplant, then slice it, lengthwise, into 1/4-inch thick slabs. You should get around 12 slices.
Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant very generously with salt. Arrange the slices in a colander and set it in the sink to drain.
Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for 30 minutes.
Rinse the eggplant slices well to remove all of the salt, then pat them dry with a towel.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
Brush both sides of each eggplant slice lightly with olive oil, then arrange the slices on the baking sheets.
Bake the eggplant for 10 to 12 minutes, just until the slices soften up a bit. Leave the oven on when you remove the eggplant.
While the eggplant bakes, make the ricotta. Place the cashews and milk into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.
Blend the cashews to a relatively smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the tofu, lemon juice, onion, garlic, basil, olives, and salt to the food processor bowl.
Pulse the food processor until the mixture is slightly chunky, with a texture like ricotta cheese.
Ladle 2 cups of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (or use a couple of smaller dishes).
Arrange an eggplant slice on a work surface, then spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the slice, about 1/2 inch from one of the ends.
Roll the end over the filling, then continue rolling to form a tube filled with the ricotta mixture. Place it in the baking dish.
Repeat until all of the eggplant slices and filling have been used.
Place the dish into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly.
While the eggplant bakes, make the toasted panko topping. Stir the panko, oil, garlic powder and salt together in a small bowl.
Place a medium skillet over medium heat.
Give the skillet a minute to heat up, then add the panko mixture.
Cook the panko mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs begin to darken and smell like toast.
Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the panko to a bowl.
Allow the eggplant rollatini to sit for about 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, then ladle the remaining cup of marinara sauce over top and sprinkle with toasted panko.
Divide the rollatini onto plates and serve.