Pic of Red rice & walnut aubergine rolls with basil oil

Red rice & walnut aubergine rolls with basil oil

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Red rice & walnut aubergine rolls with basil oil

Serves 3 1h
This beautiful recipe is inspired by cannelloni, a traditional Italian dish. Here, we’ve added a few Riverford twists to create a more elegant, healthier version. This pasta free and plant-based dish will help you see and enjoy aubergine in a new, exciting way. It’s always lots of fun rolling the grilled aubergine around this wholesome filling!

Cook's notes

If using tomatoes that are high in acidity, add ½ teaspoon of sugar to balance the sauce.


For the aubergine rolls

  • 100g red rice
  • 2 aubergines, cut into 6 thin slices lengthways
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & diced
  • 6 tomatoes, 3 diced for the filling & 3 grated for the sauce
  • 5g fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 70g walnuts, roughly chopped

For the basil oil:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled & crushed
  • 10g basil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp honey or agave syrup
Image of Red rice & walnut aubergine rolls with basil oil


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Rinse and cook the red rice.
  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Lightly oil the aubergine slices, then place them diagonally on the griddle and cook on each side until you have thick black char marks. Put them to one side.
  • Step 3

    For the filling, heat a little olive oil in a saucepan, then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the diced tomatoes and thyme and season. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.
  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a small frying pan and add the garlic, stirring until golden. Add the grated tomato, salt and pepper and gently fry for 10 minutes or until it turns to a tomato sauce consistency. Set aside to cool.
  • Step 5

    Put all the basil oil ingredients into a food processor, with a little salt and pepper. Blend for just a few seconds, as you want a rustic finish.
  • Step 6

    When the filling base is cooked, drain and add the rice and mix thoroughly. Add the walnuts (save a few for garnishing) and season to taste.
  • Step 7

    Line up the aubergine slices on a large chopping board. Spoon the filling into the centre of each slice. Carefully bring both ends to the middle, layering one on top of the other. Place them seam-side down on the board so they don’t unravel.
  • Step 8

    To serve, spread some of the tomato sauce on a plate as a base. Add 3 aubergine rolls on to each plate and warm them up in the oven for few minutes. Finish each plate by drizzling some of the basil oil and chopped walnuts over the rolls. If you like, garnish with some fresh basil on top.

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