These spiced quinoa and eggplant rolls were created by coincidence. It came about as I had some leftover quinoa one afternoon and only really had a couple of veggies left in the fridge on a Friday before going to the farmer’s markets the next morning.
I tend to come up with new recipes when I’m looking at my leftovers, what I have in the fridge and what I can create as a nice, simple dish. This is how this recipe was born.
You can serve it as an entree for when you have guests over (it’s a crowd-pleaser!) or as a main with maybe a side salad. I think that some hummus on the side would be perfect for these rolls as well.
Summer here in Australia is now over and I’m a little sad about all the beautiful fruits and vegetables that won’t be in season anymore.
I’ve really enjoyed having an abundance of eggplants, tomatoes, corn, capsicum (peppers), leafy greens, berries, mangoes, plums, nectarines, and peaches, to name a few of my favourites.
I’m a big fan of eggplant and pretty much have been using it in 80% of our dishes over the past few months. I’ve been getting them at the farmer’s markets and through friends and family who are growing them at home.
It’s such a versatile vegetable! It’s also used in many different cuisines. Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian to name a few.
These spiced quinoa and eggplant rolls are packed with flavour and are the perfect appetiser to take to an event or enjoy at home.
½ cup / 100g quinoa, washed
2 tablespoonsrice bran oil
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoongaram masala
¼ teaspoonturmeric powder
1 tablespoonfresh ginger, finely grated
1/8 teaspoonhot chilli powder(more if you like it spicy)
Half a medium-sized capsicum, chopped (aka pepper)
3 medium-sized eggplants, cut into ½ inch thin slices (aka aubergines)
½ cup / 125ml olive oil
A handful of parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
To make the filling: Bring quinoa and 1 cup / 250 ml water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. This typically takes 15 to 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, add the rice bran oil and onion to a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat.
Once the onion starts to brown, add in the garam masala, turmeric, ginger, and chilli stirring to coat the onions in the spices well. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the capsicum and stir to combine all ingredients well. Reduce heat to low and cook until the capsicum is soft—season to taste.
Combine it with the cooked quinoa and mix well. Set aside.
Grilling the eggplant: Preheat a grill on a barbecue or stove grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill until golden-brown grill marks appear, which should take around 3-4 minutes on each side. Turn the eggplant and grill for a further 3-4 minutes. You can also do this in a frying pan.
Make the rolls: Once all the eggplants are done, start by adding 1-2 tablespoons of quinoa mixture at the bottom of each eggplant piece and roll tightly. You can use toothpicks to keep together if they are coming undone easily. I find that placing the end of the eggplant facing down on the plate helps to keep it in place. Roll all the eggplant slices and sprinkle them with some fresh parsley, and a little more olive oil drizzled over the top.
You can serve this warm or cold on its own or with some hummus.
Watch how to make these eggplant rolls in full here.
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Maša is an award-winning photographer, certified health coach and passionate vegan home cook. Her mission is to make plant-based cooking approachable and downright delicious.