In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello, a chef, author and food stylist, shows busy moms how to make wholesome meals using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges.
In this video, Lauren gives Silu N., a busy mother of two, a great new way to use mustard seeds -- in a dish that's both dairy- and gluten-free. This eggplant "cannelloni" replicates the taste of the Italian dish, without the cheese or pasta.
The recipe starts with grilled eggplant, which you can either make yourself or buy from a local deli or grocery store. The, to make the tomato "jam" filling, she first toasts mustard seeds in a pan with oil -- a process that brings out their rich, earthy flavor. (You might think mustard seeds would taste like mustard, but you'd be wrong -- the strong, acid flavor in the condiment actually comes from vinegar.) Once they're nice and fragrant, she adds onions, garlic and ginger, followed by two cans of drained tomatoes, brown sugar and freshly chopped mint. Planning on chopping fresh tomatoes instead of using canned? Lauren says you shouldn't bother unless it's the height of tomato season -- sometimes canned tomatoes are actually brighter and sweeter than fresh tomatoes. If the mint is too strong of a flavor for your tastes, try a milder herb like parsley. She cooks the mixture for 10 minutes so it will reduce and thicken, and then sets the jam aside.
She then lays eight grilled eggplant slices that are about 1/4-inch thick onto a platter (though slightly thicker is fine, too), and places about one tablespoon of the jam on the narrower end of each slice. She gently folds the narrow tip in to form a tight roll, which squeezes the jam evenly throughout the roll. Finally, she pops the rolls into the oven in a baking dish for about 10 minutes to warm them up. For a final touch, she cuts mint leaves using a chiffonade cut and then sprinkles the herbs on top of the eggplant cannelloni.
Get the Recipe for Grilled Eggplant Cannelloni recipe.