Meatless Monday – Savory Roulade with Pesto and Ricotta Filling


While this is not a quick recipe, it is certainly an old favorite from the original Greens cookbook by “vegetarianista” Deborah Madison.  This is a perfect vegetarian dinner, especially for a large group on a warm summer night.

Basically this roulade is a flat, filled souffle. You can fill it with anything you like, but I feel that less is more with a roulade.

This one was filled with drained ricotta cheese and pesto and the topped with a very simple salsa of fresh vine ripened tomatoes, some fresh chopped garlic and basil, a little EVVO and salt and pepper. Served alongside chard (stay tuned for recipe) and Israeli couscous with peas, our group of 12 had plenty to feast on.

For the Roulade:

10 eggs at room temperature
5 cups of milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
8 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put a few dabs of butter on the pan to help anchor the paper in. Lightly butter and flour the paper, knocking off any excess flour.

Separate the yolks and the whites; lighty beat the yolks and set them aside. Heat the milk and make the roux by melting the butter, add the flour, and, stirring cook for 1 to  2 minutes over medium heat until the roux is lightly colored.

Add the heated milk, and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly; then remove from the heat and season with 1 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg. Gradually whisk some of the hot mixture into the yolks to warm them; then return to the pan and combine with the rest of the roux.

In a large bowl, whisk or beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until smooth firm peaks form. Stir about a quarter of the whites and half the grated cheese and the milk-egg yolk mixture; then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Pour the whole mixture onto the baking sheet, spread it to fill all the comers, and sprinkle rest of the cheese over the surface. Bake until the top is nicely browned and puffed, about 15 minutes.

Remove the souffle from the oven and let it cool. Carefully turn it out onto a large flat cutting board, with a tea towel on it, by turning over the pan. Remove the paper. It is now ready to be filled and rolled.

Filling: If you’d like an extra punch of basil, scatter a few whole leaves over the ricotta mixture before rolling the roulade.

1 lb. tub plus 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained
1 cup prepared pesto (or Marcela Hazan’s tried and true pesto)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the drained ricotta into a bowl and stir in the pesto. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembling the Roulade:

With the long side of the roulade facing you, spread the ricotta/pesto mixture across 2/3 of the roulade. Using the towel gently guide the the roulade into a log form. If possible, take the whole cutting board and place it into your refrigerator and let the roulade sit for about 20 minutes.

Otherwise, you can cut the roulade in half and place it on to 2 smaller plates and refrigerate. You can assemble the salsa a this point. Remove the roulade from the refrigerator and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Arrange on a serving platter or directly onto your dinner plates, top with the salsa and enjoy!

2 Responses to Meatless Monday – Savory Roulade with Pesto and Ricotta Filling

  1. Sheon November 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I made this which was fantastic but I converted a cup of milk to 8fl oz which ment it was 40fl oz, of milk, that has got to be too much milk? it made over two trays!  Do you agree that it was too much milk?

    • Kimberly Mayone November 15, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Hi Sheon –

      Thanks for stopping by Flavorista – glad the recipe turned out well. I am going to guess that Barr made her roulade in a half sheet pan. If using a standard cooking sheet, it makes sense that you might make two. The amount of milk to eggs is correct. I will forward your comment to Barr, just to double check.

      Have a great night.

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