This recipe is a variation on a Georgian ( as in country not a state) classic eggplant rollatini, or sandwiches with eggplant stuffed with cilantro paste. I was too lazy to cut the eggplant into the strips and fry them, and then stuff them., and so this variation was born. I got to say, that I like this version much better than the classic – it’s lower in fat, faster, and the eggplant flesh turns a thick and creamy consistency that’s is just perfectly highlighted by the cilantro paste. I made one medium Sicilian eggplant, we ate one half for dinner, and I had the other half for lunch the next day lightly warm- reheated in a microwave for 20 seconds. It’s simply addictive, a great do ahead for entertaining.
- 1 medium sized eggplant
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 8 sprigs cilantro
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) (I baked these in the toaster oven, these would grill beautifully as well)
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise through the stem
- Using a paring knife cut a crisscross pattern in the flesh if the eggplant, being careful not to pierce the skin
- Brush the eggplant with olive oil, until all of the oil is absorbed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the paste. You can go about it three ways: – 1) Add cilantro, garlic and walnuts into a blender or food processor and puree, you might want to add a little water. 2) Chop everything together with a knife and then grind with a mortar and pestle.
- Drain the liquid from the eggplant and add it to the paste, mix well and spread the paste over the eggplant.
- Bon Appetit!