Easy and healthy vegan appetizer: Georgian Eggplant Rolls with Walnut Filling. You only need three ingredients and a bit of spices to make it!
Georgian cuisine has absorbed the best culinary traditions of the Caucasus, Middle East and the Black Sea region. It’s perhaps one of the main attractions of this small highland country, together with breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage and exceptionally hospitable Georgians. Since the traditional Georgian feast is an essential part of the national identity, you can be sure that the food is on the very high level.
Georgian food is not only delicious and wholesome but also vibrant, ingenious, gourmet and truly one of a kind. Georgians love meat and wine, fresh vegetables and nuts, cheeses and condiments, spices and herbs. It’ all about tomatoes, eggplants, cilantro, walnuts, lamb, cheese filled breads, tarragon, basil and coriander.
During the Soviet era, when there was no influence on the Russian food habits from the outside, Georgian cuisine seemed to be something really exotic and yet affordable. Georgia is one of the oldest wine producers in the world, yet it is not well known in the Western world. As for the food, I really wish it would be more wide spread outside the former USSR countries.
I’ll take a small step in bringing Georgian food to your life by posting a recipe of Georgian eggplant rolls with walnuts. Perfect appetizer for a party! They are not only exceptionally delicious but also healthy and vegan. And the best of all: it’s incredibly easy to make and you only need three ingredients: eggplants, garlic and walnuts! Some spices will do the rest of the job.
Traditionally, after you slice the eggplant, you fry it in oil, making it a bit too heavy for an appetizer. I tried to bake eggplant slices in the oven and they came just as tasty as the original but much more healthy.
In this recipe the traditional Georgian spice mix khmeli suneli is used, which is actually easy to make by yourself. Check the recipe below and enjoy the Georgian touch on your table!
Georgian Eggplant Rolls with Walnuts
- 3 medium-sized eggplants
- black pepper
- cooking spray *1:5 ratio of olive oil and water)
- 150 grams or 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 100 ml or 1/2 cup very hot water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon khmeli suneli (see the recipe on my blog)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC or 350 ºF.
- Slice your eggplants lengthwise with a sharp knife. Spray the baking tray with cooking spray and arrange eggplant slices on it. You might need more than one baking tray for this amount of eggplants. Spray them with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling: crush the walnuts with a mortar and pestle until they look like on the picture above. Chop garlic and add it to the walnuts. Add khmeli suneli and ground coriander, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix everything and start to pour hot water in the bowl, stirring constantly, until you like the consistency. Don't pour all the water stated above at once.
- Fill each eggplant slice with 1-2 heaped teaspoons of the walnut mixture and roll. Optional: garnish with pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
Do you know any other Georgian dishes? I have an absolute hit prepared for you! Stay tuned!