Eg­g­plant Rolls with Wal­nut Fill­ing

Food & Wine - - RECIPES -

AC­TIVE 1 HR; TO­TAL 1 HR 30 MIN SERVES 10

Serve these two-bite rolls as a snack with drinks. They are the per­fect make-ahead party dish, as they are as­sem­bled and served at room tem­per­a­ture.

1 lb. small egg­plants (about 3 egg­plants), stemmed and cut length­wise into 1/2 -inch-thick slices

2 tsp. kosher salt Grape­seed oil or other neu­tral oil, for fry­ing Wal­nut Paste (recipe fol­lows)

2 to 3 Tbsp. wa­ter

3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeño

1/4 cup pome­gran­ate ar­ils

1. Place eg­g­plant slices in a large bowl; sprin­kle with salt, toss­ing to coat both sides. Let stand, un­cov­ered, un­til mois­ture forms on eg­g­plant and wa­ter col­lects in bot­tom of bowl, about 30 min­utes.

2. Rinse eg­g­plant slices well un­der cold run­ning wa­ter. Squeeze each slice be­tween pa­per tow­els to re­move ex­cess wa­ter, and pat dry with pa­per tow­els.

3. Pour oil into a large, high-sided skil­let to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over medium-high to 340°F. Work­ing in batches, use a spider to drop eg­g­plant slices into oil. Fry un­til golden, about 3 min­utes per side. Re­move from oil, and drain on a pa­per towel–lined bak­ing sheet. Pat tops of eg­g­plant slices with pa­per tow­els to re­move ex­cess oil.

4. Stir to­gether wal­nut paste and 2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter in a large bowl, adding more wa­ter, 1 tea­spoon at a time, if nec­es­sary, un­til mix­ture is spread­able. Add basil and jalapeño; stir to com­bine.

5. Spread about 2 ta­ble­spoons wal­nut mix­ture on one end of each eg­g­plant slice, and roll up. Ar­range rolls, seam side down, on a serv­ing plat­ter. Spread tops with any re­main­ing wal­nut mix­ture, and sprin­kle evenly with pome­gran­ate ar­ils.

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