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  • Isabella Akshay

Aubergine Roll-Ups with Feta & Homemade Zhug

Updated: Oct 4

These aubergine roll-ups are the perfect healthy dinner or lunch - full of flavour and incredibly easy to make. I could actually eat them every day.


They feature Zhug - a hot paste originally from Yemen, but very common in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula, where it is also known by other names including sahawiq, bisbas or mabboj.


I love it for its balance of intense spice and freshness coming from the herbs. Here I used it to stuff these super-summery aubergine rolls.


Hope you like them!






Ingredients (for 4)

  • 2 large aubergines

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • Salt to taste

  • 125g breadcrumbs

  • 100g feta

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (or other nut), toasted

  • 200g (more or less) zhug (recipe below)


For the Zhug:

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds

  • 2 green chillies

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves

  • 2 cups fresh parsley leaves

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 lemon, grated zest & juice

  • Salt to taste


Method


Start by making zhug. Dry-roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cardamom seeds. Transfer to a blender with the other ingredients and blend to a coarse paste. Store in a jar or airtight container and refrigerate.


Slice the aubergines lengthwise to 0.5 cm thickness. Arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and bake at 200°C for 15 mins. Alternatively, you can also grill them on the stove.


Reserve 3-4 smaller slices and chop them very small. Sauté in a pan with a little oil and salt. Set aside.


In the same pan, add the breadcrumbs and toast them until browned. Add to the chopped, fried aubergines and mix to combine. This will be your stuffing. Set aside.


Crumble the feta, toast the pine nuts and set both aside.


When the aubergine slices have softened and are 90% cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle.


Take one aubergine slice and spoon about 1 tsp of zhug onto the eggplant slice, then the breadcrumbs stuffing, followed by the crumbled feta and a few pine nuts, and roll it up. Repeat for all slices.


Transfer your roll-ups to a flat, large pan and grill them for approx 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and serve immediately.



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