This starter looks small because it was! I had factored in the other element of the dinner, such as the tray of oysters, crudités and what was to follow. So I decided to go with one each (I had made two each in case, but they were really good for lunch today cold!) The sauce (dressing really) was coriander (cilantro) in olive oil.
For 8-12 rolls (depending on size and how sharp your knife is!)
3 big aubergines/eggplants
1 cup/140g of cashew nuts
(roast in the oven for five minutes- if they are not already roasted ones)
4 red onions
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
one bunch of coriander/cilantro
2 tablespoons of wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Take two of the aubergines and slice them lengthways discard the sides as they are just skin and too short to roll. Depending how many slices you make will determine how many rolls you have - so section it off in your head first as they should be about 1.5 cm (just over half an inch) wide. Put into a bowl and salt each side lightly and let them de-gorge their water for at least half an hour. Put them on a baking tray (with a lip to the sides as the oil releases itself once they are cooked) and paint on some olive oil with a pastry brush, so the oil is spread evenly - on both sides. In an oven of 180°c/350°f, bake them for about 30 minutes or until browned and soft turning half way (roast the nuts at the same time as the aubergines).
The other aubergine is for the stuffing; peel this one and cube into small dices (the size of your little finger tip) and salt this as indicated above. Slice the onions and slowly cook them off in olive oil, until they are dark and soft; this can take 20 minutes. Remove them and cook the aubergines in the same way adding a little olive oil when needed. Once soft, put back in the onions, the chopped parsley and half the nuts (also chopped), stir everything and add the vinegar -stir once again, turn off the heat and add some pepper but not salt as the aubergines have already been salted and let cool.
Assemble the slices putting in the stuffing and rolling them up, leaving the seam underneath. They are good hot or cold. If you are serving them warm, just leave on a low heat for 15 minutes so they are not burning hot. I added the sauce and some extra chopped nuts to serve.
The sauce was made using the whole bunch of coriander/cilantro (including the stalks or should I say especially the stalks, as they have the most flavour). Simple chop finely with a few tablespoons of olive oil and some salt to taste.
NOTE : you may very well want to put cheese with this, but as we had a (big!) cheese course, I did not want to use any beforehand - so go ahead as it would also work well in or on top, melted.