The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear eggplant, is bitter. Yes, eggplant can be bitter, but a simple process of salting and rinsing the flesh of the eggplant can tame that. Not all eggplant varieties tend to be bitter, in fact the more common ones we see in America are usually not.

I want to share one of my favorite dishes that can be eaten as an entrée, or as an extra special accompaniment.


  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 1 pound Ricotta
  • 1 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • ½ cup Parsley, Fresh Chopped
  • ¼ cup Basil, Fresh Chiffonade
  • 1 large Egg
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • 20 fl oz Marinara (fresh-made or bought)


  • Peel Eggplant and slice thin. Lightly oil each slice. Grill until soft & pliable (2-3 minutes each side).
  • Combine all ingredients, except for marinara, to make filling.
  • Take a little filling and spread each slice with it. Then roll each slice up.
  • Ladle a little marinara in a baking dish, place rollatini in dish with seam side down, and ladle remaining marinara over the top.
  • Bake in 375 degree oven until fully heated (about 15 minutes). During last 5 minutes, sprinkle extra grated cheese on top.                                                         


Bryan Haines is the Executive Chef at Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach where he develops original, delicious dishes for residents and   their guests. He has worked at top restaurants in Virginia and New Jersey, and his unique dishes have earned a variety of local awards, including: People’s Choice at the Virginia Foodbank’s Tastefully Yours competition; Most Creative Recipe in the Seton Youth Shelter Derby; and three awards at the Mariners Museum’s History Bites competition — Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice, and Iron Clad for Most Authentic.