I love pesto. I think we should put some kind of law in place that requires pesto to make an appearance at all meals.
Or maybe we don't need a law. Maybe we just need to make pesto at home and eat it on everything. Join me, won't you?
These Eggplant Roll-ups with Hemp Basil Pesto and Balsamic Shiitake Mushrooms are an excellent way to use any leftover pesto (har har har, like that's a thing that happens), and also proved to be an awesome use of some extra eggplant, tomatoes and mushrooms from our CSA. (I feel plagued by the eggplant this season! I love them, but they've been out in full force like zucchini usually is. Nice to have some fun ways to use them... stir-fries can get kind of old, no?)
These little bundles of yum are super simple to make: once your eggplant slices are in the oven, you have about half an hour to prep everything else, making the total time for this dinner no more than 40 minutes (and less, if you're using leftover veggies and pesto for filling). Love love love an efficient dinner!
Use a mandoline (I like this one; OXO is great because it's BPA-free) to slice your eggplant into thin strips. If you don't have a mandoline, no worries: just be super careful and use a knife to slice your eggplant lengthwise.
Place the eggplant in a baking tray and sprinkle with salt, allowing it to sweat out for about 10 minutes while your oven preheats and you assemble your remaining ingredients. The eggplants are a little easier to work with, and a little less bitter, when they've had time to sweat. Dab gently with a towel before drizzling with oil and transferring to the oven.
While your eggplant roasts - about half an hour - put together your mushroom filling and hemp-basil pesto.
To make the mushrooms, heat a little oil over medium in a skillet and toss in the mushrooms. They'll need a few minutes to soften and reabsorb their water. Once they have, toss in a little balsamic, stir to coat, then remove from heat.
To make the pesto (yay, pesto!), simply combine hemp seeds, basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon and nutritional yeast until smooth in a food processor. Set aside.
Prep any other sides you'd like to include (we served ours with simple steamed kale + avocado oil, plus some fresh tomatoes... so good).
Once your eggplant slices are nicely browned (not too crisp - you want to be able to roll them), remove them from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Spread a little pesto down the centre of each one, add a scoop of mushrooms, and roll up lengthwise.
Nice work, fancy pants. Enjoy. :)
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup mushrooms, crimini work well
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 2 handfuls fresh basil
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp + 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- a couple of pinches of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Use a mandoline or a knife to slice your eggplant into thin strips.
- Place the eggplant in a baking tray and sprinkle with salt, allowing it to sweat out for about 10 minutes while your oven preheats and you assemble your remaining ingredients. Rinse with water, then dry with a towel before drizzling with 1 tbsp oil and transferring to the oven.
- To make the mushrooms, heat a 1 tsp oil over medium in a skillet and toss in the mushrooms. They'll need a few minutes to soften and reabsorb their water. Once they have, toss in a little balsamic, stir to coat, then remove from heat.
- To make the pesto, combine hemp seeds, basil, remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt and nutritional yeast until smooth in a food processor. Set aside.
- Remove eggplant from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from tray.
- Lay each strip out and place a scoop of pesto + a scoop of mushrooms on each. Roll up, end to end, and fold over to seal.