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Eggplant Parmesan w/ Swiss Chard and Fresh Mint


2 large eggplant, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ¼-in. slices

Kosher salt

extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed

2 large eggs

1 15-once container whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 ¼ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 15- or 16-ounce can tomato sauce (or fresh tomato sauce - a little more work!)

1 8-ounce ball fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, thinly sliced


Preparation: Cover bottom and sides of a large colander with a layer of eggplant slices; sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Continue layering slices in colander, sprinkling each layer with salt, until all slices are used. Place colander over large bowl; let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Rinse slices to remove excess salt; dry thoroughly with paper towels. [Can also try adding in slices of zucchini.]


Position oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat source and preheat broiler. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Brush both sides of slices with olive oil. Broil until slices are tender and beginning to brown, watching closely and removing slices as needed if cooking too quickly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove baking sheet from oven and cool slices while preparing filling.


Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add chard to pot and boil just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Squeeze chard very dry, then chop coarsely. Squeeze chard dry again between paper towels. Whisk eggs and pinch of coarse salt in medium bowl. Stir in chopped chard, ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, mint, and black pepper.


Lightly oil a 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Spread half of tomato sauce evenly over bottom of dish.  Divide chard-ricotta filling among eggplant slices, placing about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each. Starting at 1 short end of each, loosely roll up slices, enclosing filling. Arrange rolls, seam side down, atop sauce in baking dish. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over.  Place mozzarella slices in single layer over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. [Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and chill.]


Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake covered with foil, until heated through, about 30 minutes if just made or 40 minutes if refrigerated. Uncover and bake until brown in spots and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 moremminutes. Serve as hot as you can stand it - dangerously delicious.