ABOUT THIS RECIPE
This recipe came to me one morning, and I felt compelled to try it out. It was a winner. I love Mediterranean food with all its wonderful tomato and herb sauces, and I also love Moroccan food – the tagines, etc – and I thought the use of fruit would give just the right touch to what I had in mind. I complimented this dish by using pecan nuts and basmati rice, both of which marry well, together with some interesting spices in the filling – curry, cinnamon etc. Then, in my mind’s eye I saw a deep red, flavoursome sauce that the parcels would sit in – a smoked tomato sauce to add moisture, with herbs to embellish the flavours. Introducing flavours and a stuffing to dance, rather than fight together. The result – an interesting fusion, and a treat to the palette.
I highly recommend serving the parcels with crunchy roast potatoes, and a green salad of your choice.
Serves 2 to 3 portions.
- 1 large, firm aubergine / eggplant (be sure that the flesh inside is white and not brown)
- 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup of pecan nuts, chopped
- ½ tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cardamon powder
- a pinch of chilli powder – or more if you like it hot
- ½ tsp ground cumin powder
- 1½ cups of cooked basmati rice (I used white basmati, as the brown is a little heavy for this dish)
- 9 stewed apricots, cut in halves
- salt to taste
- chopped parsley or mint for garnishing (optional)
Cut aubergine/eggplant lengthways into relatively thin slices, and fry each slice in a non-stick pan until it slightly browns on both sides – a skillet pan gives them a lovely design. Remove and allow to cool before stuffing and rolling.
Meanwhile, start to prepare the rice filling by pouring a little olive oil in a non-stick pan and frying the chopped pecans for a minute or so. Add the onion and garlic, and stir around the pan until the onions cook and the pecans have begun to brown (that’s when they give off their magic flavour). When this is done, add the remaining ingredients, except for the rice and apricots. Allow these to cook, and mix well for around 10 minutes or so on a low heat.
If the mixture is a little dry, do not hesitate to add a little more oil. Finally add the rice and apricots, stir well, and add your salt and pepper. Take off the heat, and allow a few minutes for your rice mixture to cool in readiness for stuffing the aubergines. You may wish to make your smoked tomato sauce in the meantime.
INGREDIENTS FOR SMOKED TOMATO SAUCE
- 2-3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400 grams)
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 tsp margarine
- ½ tsp brown sugar or cane sugar
- salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan for a few moments. Then add the chopped garlic and stir – don’t allow it to brown. Add the tomato puree, cinnamon stick and the smoked paprika, taking care to mix well for a minute or two. Now add the remaining ingredients, cover and lower the heat, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until the mixture is thick and aromatic. After a few minutes, place the sauce in a suitable oven dish in readiness for the parcels.
METHOD FOR STUFFING AUBERGINES/EGGPLANTS (final stage prior to baking the completed dish)
Take one slice of the cooked aubergine/eggplant at a time, and place on a chopping board, facing lengthways away from you. Spoon a portion of your rice mixture on to the surface of the slice (around 2 teaspoons or so, depending on the size of your slice), about ½ inch from the end closest to you. Carefully roll the slice away from you, until it is fully rolled, and the stuffing is sealed inside. Ensure it is lying with the final overlap upwards, and if needs be, stick a toothpick through the top for further security (you can then remove it prior to serving if you wish). Continue the same process with the remaining slices – the technique should come easier to you the more you do.
When you have stuffed each aubergine/eggplant into a packed parcel, place one by one in your chosen oven dish, where you will have already placed your smoked tomato sauce. Cover the dish with foil, and allow to cook gently in the oven on a medium heat for half an hour or so. After 20 minutes, remove the foil. Garnish with parsley, and serve with crispy potatoes and salad as I recommended – or any other way that takes your fancy. Please indulge now.
All recipes, content & design © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
These are free recipes for your pleasure – all we ask in return is that you take a few moments to leave a constructive comment !
Miriam, reading this recipe and looking at the serving did make my mouth water. I could eat Eggplant Parcels in Smoked Tomato Sauce every day of my long healthy vegan life.
I love eggplant and can’t wait to try this one.
thanks in advance!!!
Love your recipies Miriam.. You are truly an amazing cook… thank you for having this site available to all of us who adore meatless and non animal related dishes.. Blessings and love to you my friend.. McKenna
McKenna Hi and thanks so much for your wonderful comment – It is my joy to be producing recipes for the vegan world – my wish is that it expands – my blog certainly is !!! Embracing all you have said and all that you do for the sentient beings too McKenna – a huge CHEERS !!!
Arthur Hi there & thanks so very much for your wonderful and sweet comment – I embrace your every kind and complimentary word ! I am sure you will have a very long life with that beautiful attitude of yours, and thanks for all your endeavours towards the sentient beings of our planet. Cheers to you !!!
I made this today and it turned out really good! I loved the pecan nuts in there 🙂 But I had way too much of the rice mixture for the aubergine slices. Next time I would just make the rice-mix and the tomato sauce and eat it without making all those little packages. Next I’ll make your Giardiniera 🙂
Wow this was very delicious, altough my oven was broken down without any reason and I had to eat it lukewarm because I noticed it too late. I just took walnuts instead of the pecans and combined the rice with a bit more chopped parsley 🙂
Thank you for this!
Schomo thanks for your comment and welcome to my site. Glad you enjoyed this dish and hope you manage to get your oven repaired real soon. Walnuts work very well in place of pecans in many dishes especially ones with rice. I hope that you enjoy my other recipes in the category section and I look forward to your future comments ! Cheers !
This dish has some distinctive flavours that go really well together and I loved the fresh tingle of the apricots. The filling was already very tasty, but the tomato sauce added that extra, hmm, what’s the word? Oh, you know what I mean. Loved it. (I used cashew nuts coz I didn’t have peacan, worked very well)
Hilde Hi and welcome to my site – glad you tried out this recipe, and you have described the flavours very well indeed, including the contrasting taste of the filling and the smokey sauce – The word missing I thought may have been ‘contrasting’. Glad you loved it and am sure the cashews were also effective ! Best to you and thanks for your wonderful feedback. Cheers !
Oh Miriam this just looks so amazing I can’t wait to serve these up to my family ! I am hooked to your blog I will be coming back here all the time to devour your food with my eyes thank you !!! <3
Enisa Hi there – thanks for your compliments, I am so glad you love my blog ! Hope you manage to try a few of the recipes ! Look forward to your future comments too ! Cheers !
Love the contrasts between the sweet rice and tomato sauce.
In fact I will start making stir fried rice like the above recipe just for a side dish in the future.
I found it took too long to brown each side of the Aubergine, did you use a bit of oil?
Hi there Cynfelyn, great that you tried this out and enjoyed the contrasting flavours, good for you. Now, with regards to the aubergine taking a while to brown – there is the grill option which is less arduous – brush each slice/side with some olive oil and grill on both sides till brown (yes I do pan fry mine in a little olive oil) – then do the next batch – another option is buy them frozen ready grilled. I think that’s about your alternative choices there. Cheers to you !
Last night we had the pastry dinner- tonight i will make this eggplant dinner- thx for the recipes!!
Hi there Jaimee and welcome here. I hope you enjoy this one too ! Let me know how it goes. Cheers !
Hi Miriam…made this tonight…It was absolutely delicious…had some leftovers, so my hubby gave a
taste to our neighbors…they loved it!!! thanks for
another great recipe!
Terry Hi there and welcome. I am delighted that you made and enjoyed this recipe as did your husband and neighbours, a great result/turn-out – I look forward to your future comments on my blog Terry. Best wishes to you in the meantime !
well Miriam, I made this again for my birthday dinner…
again, it was a winner! thanks so much for the recipe!
Terry Hi there and thanks for letting me know how this dish turned out for you. Sounds great and glad you enjoyed it as part of your birthday dinner, that’s wonderful. Best wishes your way and a belated happy birthday to you too !
I want to make this recipe tonight. However, I am a bit stumbled about how to make the “stewed apricots.” After I cut my apricots in half, do I have to cook them in something special? Some recipes for stewed apricots call for sugar and other ingredients. Help please!
Danielle Hi there. For the apricots, after you cut them, just add them to a small saucepan add an inch or so of water, cover them and allow them to cook on a slow heat for 40 minutes or so – that’s it, the water may evaporate and thicken, use the lot. Enjoy and let me know how it goes ! Cheers !
Okay! We made this dish and I have to say it was a bit challenging. Not just because it was a new recipe, but because we have never cooked up a Mediterranean dish before.
To our surprise, this dish came out wonderful! We noted that the sauce and the rice mixture brought out each other’s flavors perfectly. We enjoyed this new taste a lot!
The only negative thing that came out of this dish was mastering slicing the eggplant, haha. This was our first dish with eggplant and some slices came out way too thin for parcels.
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
P.S. Thanks for the apricot stewing method. I was googling up apricot stew recipes and many recipes called for sugar among other ingredients. I wanted to stay true to your recipe.
Hi Danielle and thanks for coming back with your feedback. I think that all in all given you are 1st time cooks in this field you have made a success of it. Now, with regards to slicing the eggplant, here is a tip for you – use a very sharp serrated knife and take your time cutting it. Eggplant won’t always cut perfectly equidistant sized pieces time after time – but a sharp knife will help a smoother chance. Larger eggplants are easier for this dish. Hope you try out my other recipes in good time too ! Best wishes your way in the meantime and look forward to your future comments on my blog !
Wow what a delicious dish! The family loved it, especially the smoked tomato sauce, I have already made this again for pasta. Didn’t have any apricots so I used sun dried tomatoes and a bit of mango chutney, but it was gorgeous. Thanks 🙂
I am so glad to hear this Lauri ! It is a great sauce too and your idea of the mango chutney and sun dried tomatoes sounds good too ! I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog !