Eggplant is an incredibly versatile vegetable and easily makes any dish seem that much fancier. This recipe combines two easy-to-make side dishes to create a unique appetizer and a crowd pleaser of an entree. A dollop of spiced quinoa mixed with onions and capsicum is placed on top of a piece of grilled eggplant and then rolled. Serve this warm as an entree or cold with some hummus for a starter dish.
Spiced Quinoa and Eggplant Rolls [Vegan]
- 1/2 cup washed quinoa
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- A pinch of hot chili powder
- 1/2 of 1 medium-sized bell pepper, chopped
- 3 medium sized eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch thin slices
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt, for seasoning
- A handful of parsley for dressing, finely chopped
- Bring quinoa and 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 15-20 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, add the 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 chili, stirring to coat the onions in the spices well. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the bell pepper and stir to combine all ingredients well. Reduce heat to low and cook until the capsiucum is soft. Season to taste.
- Combine the cooked quinoa and spicy onion and bell pepper and mix well. Set aside.
- For the eggplant, preheat a medium-high charcoal grill on a barbecue or stove grill. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill until golden-brown grill marks form, which should take around 3 to 4 minutes on one side. Turn the eggplant and repeat the same process.
- Once all the eggplants are done. Start 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. Placing the end of the eggplant facing the plate helps to keep it in place.
- Roll all the eggplant pieces and sprinkle the stack with some fresh parsley and a little more olive oil drizzled over the top. Serve this warm or cold.