Walnut-Stuffed Eggplant Rolls

In Georgia, walnut-stuffed eggplant rolls are almost as popular as khachapuri. In Abkhazia, too, apparently, as I adapted this recipe from an Abkhaz cookbook! These rolls make for a very satisfying appetizer, and the filling strikes the perfect balance between spices, fresh herbs, moist onions and rich walnuts. My partner doesn’t even like eggplant, and she liked these!

Walnut-stuffed eggplant rolls
Yields about 24 pieces

1 1/2 lb Italian eggplant
salt
4 oz olive oil
6 oz very thinly sliced onion
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
4 saffron filaments
8 oz shelled walnuts
2 tbsp chopped mint
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tsp piment d’espelette
4 oz pomegranate juice

  • Remove the stems from the whole eggplants, and slice the flesh lengthwise into slices about 3/16″ thick, discarding the skin-side slices. Generously season the slices with salt on both sides. Let rest for 15 minutes, then brush both sides with a wet paper towel.
  • Sauté the eggplant slices in olive oil in a hot frying pan until brown on both sides. Reserve on paper towels.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Season with salt, mix in the saffron and let cool.
  • In a food processor, process the walnuts, mint, parsley, piment d’espelette and pomegranate juice to a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the onion preparation. Place some mixture on one end of each eggplant slice, and roll into a cylinder. Refrigerate and take out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
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4 thoughts on “Walnut-Stuffed Eggplant Rolls

  1. I love walnut-stuffed eggplants. Never tried adding saffron though! Was it your own idea, or was saffron included in the original version? I think in the recipes I’ve seen, it was omitted for economy reasons :)

    • I think the saffron was included in the original recipe, and I’ve definitely seen it used in some restaurants. There isn’t enough of it in the dish to impart a pronounced saffron flavor, but it makes the mixture more vibrant.

  2. Thank you! I was looking for this recipe as a lover of Georgian cuisine having been to this beautiful country twice now, and looking forward to being there again before tourism steals the local charm. You feel in an ancient place of spiritual and local depth reflected with a cuisine of ‘the fresh, the enticing and the joy of creation’. Of course you know the book, The Georgian Feast.
    i did a cooking day with a woman from the old school in her Tiblisi home in a minute kitchen with daughter and grand-daughter assisting. Hard to duplicate the kachapuri and Khinkali, not just in skill but in speed of execution.
    What a feast we had for a late lunch.
    Sorry my blog ‘stone whisperings’ about writing and food is not quite up yet but will be soon. Nice blog, I think I will use either this one, Twenty Eleven or Twenty Twelve.
    Are you pleased with it?
    Thanks again,
    Victoria

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