This recipe combines two of my favourite things, cauliflower rice and grilled eggplant.
The cauliflower rice is quickly sautéed until tender and then mixed with a delicious blend of parsley, mint, pine nuts, shallots and garlic. The result is a flavourful and refreshing salad very similar to a middle eastern couscous. To keep this recipe paleo and vegan I avoided using dairy, but crumbled feta would be a wonderful salty addition to the salad if cheese is a part of your diet.
Grilled slices of eggplant are the perfect encasing for the couscous, wrapping everything together into pretty serving sized portions. I am a bit of a grilled eggplant addict and absolutely love its tender texture and the way it absorbs other flavours, which in this dish is the garlic and herbs from the salad.
The tahini and lemon sauce is a wonderful combination of zesty citrus and creamy texture and is perfect for drizzling over the top of the rolls. You can also serve any extra sauce alongside the dish to spoon over because its so good, people always end up wanting more.
These rolls are incredibly versatile. You can serve them as an appetizer, as part of an antipasti platter, in place of salad, as a side dish or a healthy lunch.
I find that the texture and quality of the rolls doesn’t change once made, so you could prepare them up to a day in advance, but would recommend only topping with the tahini sauce right before serving.
- 2 eggplants
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups cauliflower rice (approximately half a head of cauliflower)
- ½ tsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ red onion or 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp tahini
- juice from ½ lemon
- 1 tsp honey (or other sweetener)
- 1 clove garlic
- Heat a grill to medium high heat or alternatively preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Slice the eggplants length wise into 1cm thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill the slices for approximately 3 minutes per side until golden in colour and tender. Alternatively lay the slices on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes per side.
- While the eggplant is cooking, heat ½ tsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add in the cauliflower rice and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Transfer the cauliflower couscous to a bowl and put in the fridge to cool.
- Once the cauliflower couscous is cool, stir in the parsley, mint, pine nuts and chopped onion. In a small bowl whisk together the 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic and then pour over the couscous and stir.
- In a bowl whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and crushed garlic. Add approximately 1 tbsp of water and continue to whisk until a a smooth sauce forms.
- To assemble the rolls place 1 to 2 spoonfuls of the couscous at the wider end of the eggplant slice and roll up. Repeat with the remaining slices.
- To serve drizzle the rolls with the tahini & lemon sauce and sprinkle with any additional parsley or pine nuts.