Vegan Baked Eggplant with Cashew Ricotta

By Angela Redfern and the Ripe Deli team

Vegan Baked Eggplant with Cashew Ricotta

A twist on a classic Italian dish ‘eggplant involtini’ that is so delicious no one will believe that it is dairy and gluten free! We are always trying to create amazing tasting vegan dishes for our customers and this one is a winner.

Serves 6 to 8

df, gf, vegan

Baked Eggplant

2 eggplants, sliced lengthways – 1 cm thick

Olive Oil for frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp pinenuts, toasted

¼ cup (10g) fresh basil and  fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped


Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 onion, peeled, diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped

2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes

½ cup (125ml) water

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

½ tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tsp salt


Cashew Ricotta

1 cup (140g) cashew nuts toasted

2 tbsp olive oil 

2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped

1 packet silken tofu, well drained and dried using paper towels

1 tsp dried oregano 

1½ tsp salt

Zest of 1 lemon + 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 

½ cup (20g) fresh basil and fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

2 tbsp pinenuts, toasted


Preheat oven to 180°C.

To prepare the eggplant: place a large frying pan over a high heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Cook a few slices of eggplant at a time, fry for a minute or so on each side until nicely browned.

Repeat the process (adding more oil as needed) until all the slices are cooked. Drain the eggplant on paper towels and lightly season with salt and pepper.

To prepare the tomato sauce: place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato, water, balsamic, brown sugar and salt.

Cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Remove from the
heat and pour into a high-sided baking dish.

To prepare the cashew ricotta: using a food processor, blend the cashew nuts into fine crumbs. Add the olive oil, garlic, tofu, oregano, salt, lemon zest and juice.

Blend for a few minutes until well combined. Transfer into a bowl and stir through the fresh herbs and pinenuts.

To prepare the eggplant involtini: place a couple of heaped tablespoons of the cashew ricotta mix onto each slice of eggplant and roll it up.

Place the eggplant rolls in the tomato sauce. Scatter over the pinenuts and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and parsley just before serving.


RIPE RECIPES: A Third Helping by Angela Redfern and the Ripe Deli team, Beatnik Publishing, RRP $60.00, Photography by Sally Greer.


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