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Walnut eggplant rolls

Walnuts, garlic, and coriander are the new holy trinity in the kitchen. 

YIELDS
4
 TO
6

Ingredients

Walnut Eggplant Rolls

  • 5–6 small–medium eggplants
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) olive oil spray
  • 1 cup (120 g) shelled walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder pomegranate seeds, to serve cilantro leaves, to serve

Pomegranate sauce

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) pomegranate molasses
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) tahini
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Walnut Eggplant Rolls 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line three baking trays with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray. Cut the eggplants vertically into slices eight millimetres thick. Try to keep the ‘butts’ on each side to a minimum, as these don’t fold too well.
  3. Arrange the lined baking trays in a single layer, then spray with olive oil spray. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, turning over halfway, until golden on both sides, softened and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, blitz the walnuts, garlic, vinegar, spices and a quarter cup of just-boiled water in a blender until smooth paste forms. Season with salt and pepper. 

Pomegranate Sauce 

  1. Combine pomegranate molasses, tahini and olive oil. Set aside for serving. 

Serve 

  1. When the eggplant is completely pliable, remove it from the oven and leave it until cool enough to handle. Scoop a teaspoon of the walnut paste onto one of the short edges of each slice, then roll, pressing the end over and resting it on this site to keep it secure.  Arrange the eggplant rolls on a platter. Drizzle with some of the dipping sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and cilantro. Serve with remaining sauce. Enjoy! 

TIP: Walnuts are up there with pine nuts in being highly susceptible to rancidity once cracked. Beware of sealed packets with a long shelf life, particularly if the nuts look powdery. Either take the time to crack your own, or buy them from a bulk store where you can audaciously ask to taste them before you buy. Store any left-over nuts in an airtight container in the fridge.

TIP: You can circumvent the walnut shelling by subbing in crunchy peanut butter (or any nut butter) instead. To speed up the eggplant side, salt the slices, pat them dry and grill instead of baking – they’ll turn out slipperier, but they’ll cook more quickly. Drizzle with molasses instead of the pomegranate sauce. Double duty Any left-over nut paste can be loosened off with mayonnaise and tossed through your next salad as a creamy, aromatic dressing.

Excerpted from In Praise of Veg: The Ultimate Cookbook for Vegetable Lovers by Alice Zaslavsky. Text Copyright © 2022 Alice Zaslavsky.Design and Illustrations Copyright ©2022 by Murdoch Books. Photography Copyright ©2022 by Ben Dearnley. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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