Twenty years ago, King Arthur Flour was a regional flour company. Beloved by New Englanders, we weren't known outside the Northeast.

These days, King Arthur Flour can be found on supermarket shelves in all 50 states. We’re the top-selling organic flour in the country, as well as #1 in sales for whole wheat flour and bread flour. And our unbleached all-purpose? Well, we’re #2 to Gold Medal, but we’re gaining ground fast. And you know what they say about being #2—we try harder!

With all of this growth comes a lot of work—and certain perks. We’re playing with the big dogs now, which means we get to meet Famous Foodies—people like Julia Child. And Emeril Lagasse. Alice Waters, and Jacques Pepin. And you know what these celebrities all have in common? They’re nice.

Yeah, that’s right. Good people. Regular folks.

Julia—because that’s what everyone called her, just plain Julia—would look you in the eye, ask questions, and listen attentively. She was vibrant, enthusiastic, friendly, and what I’d term “a good egg.” Mario Batali, whom I met in his “pre-Molto” days scuffing around a trade show in Birkenstocks, was simply a good guy. As all the truly Big Stars seem to be. Including Sara Moulton, whose position as executive chef at Gourmet magazine; her books; a stint as executive chef on ABC’s “Good Morning, America,” and her long-running Food Network show, “Cooking Live,” have earned her millions of fans.

Sara visited King Arthur recently to film some cooking lessons for us; to sign her books; and to take a class at our Baking Education Center. She stopped by for a potluck breakfast at 8 a.m., and sat and chatted for an hour with our impromptu group of customer service folks, test bakers, and computer guys. Warm, gracious, friendly and down-to-earth, Sara was everything you see on-screen. Another “good egg,” in the Julia tradition.

So next time you hear about celebrities acting out, or read about various stars and their shenanigans in People magazine, consider Sara Moulton. Or Julia. Or Emeril, or a host of other Friendly Foodies. These are folks you'd be happy to invite into your kitchen—and not just via the TV.

Here's the recipe for one of the cooking lessons Sara filmed with us, Eggplant and Four-Cheese Canneloni.

First step: peel the eggplant, and slice it about 1/3” thick, crosswise or lengthwise (larger slices cut in half). However you do it, you'll need about 12 slices.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil, lay the eggplant on it in a single layer, and spray the slices with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake them while you're making the crespelle (Italian crêpes).

Combine all of the crespelle ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Process until smooth. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the batter should still be be fairly thin; it should run freely from a spoon.

Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into a 7 3/4” crêpe pan. Cook till beginning to brown on one side, flip it over, and cook very briefly on the other side, just till set. Notice I kind of mangled this one, but you know what? It's fine; it's going to disappear under a blanket of sauce and cheese.

So here are your six crespelle, ready to go.

And here's the eggplant, soft and barely beginning to brown.

Loosen the eggplant from the pan; you'll see that their bottoms are a darker brown (or even charred—whoops!)

Next, prepare the cheese: mozzarella, Parmesan, and fontina.

Cut the Parmesan into chunks...

...and grate coarsely.

Add the Parmesan to the ricotta.

Grate the mozzarella and fontina...

...and mix with the ricotta and Parmesan. And there you have it: four-cheese filling.

Put two slices of eggplant and a dollop of cheese filling towards the front edge of one crespella.

Roll up the crespella with the filling inside...

...making it into a smooth log.

Nestle the crespelle snugly in a baking dish.

Cover with your favorite tomato sauce...

...and sprinkle with additional grated fresh Parmesan.

Bake for about 35 minutes, till everything's hot and melty.

Serve individual cannelloni as appetizers; or two each as an entrée.

P.S. Sara was nice enough to pose for a picture with me, so I had to share. Hi Mom!

Read, review, and rate (please!) Sara's recipe for Eggplant and Four-Cheese Cannelloni.

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Buy vs. Bake:

Buy: Beretti’s Italian Restaurant, Coos Bay, Oregon. Your choice of meat and spinach filled crêpe or a ricotta & Parmesan cheese spinach filled crêpe, covered with a creamy white sauce, $13.99

Buy: Jacks Grill, Housatonic, Massachusetts. Grilled Eggplant Cannelloni Appetizer, $7.00

Bake at home: Sara Moulton's Eggplant and Four Cheese Cannelloni, $1.46 per cannelloni

PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

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