Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce

This eggplant involtini with Spanish mojo sauce is an easy and delicious eggplant recipe; the bright orange garlicky sauce is instantly addicting.

Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce

Travel-inspired recipes are a significant part of our cooking style. This eggplant involtini with mojo sauce recipe is brought to you from a city near and dear to my heart: Madrid, Spain! (I studied abroad in Madrid in college and recently traveled to Spain.) It’s the creation of guest author Katie Schmidt of Whole Nourishment, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach previously living in Madrid. While she was there, I caught up with Katie to ask her about life in Madrid and a healthy Spanish recipe. Katie created this eggplant involtini with Spanish mojo sauce. And I must say, the mojo sauce is incredibly addicting! We used our leftover sauce for dipping bread, and it would be great drizzled over a nourish bowl. Keep reading for the recipe.

Related: Our travel guides & travel inspired recipes!

Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce

Life in Madrid: a Q&A

I asked Katie Schmidt of Whole Nourishment a few things about life in Madrid, including some of her favorite Spanish dishes and how healthy eating melds with the native food culture. (And, the eggplant involtini and Spanish mojo sauce recipes are at the bottom of the post.)

You recently moved to Madrid. Spain has such a vibrant food culture. What’s it like living there, and what dishes have you found that you love?

Madrid is an accessible, vibrant, and energetic city. We feel at home here. As for Spanish dishes, I enjoy cafes that offer modern, whole takes on Spanish classics. A simple one is Pan con Tomate, a tapa of grilled bread with freshly grated tomato spooned on top. I once had breakfast variation adding scrambled eggs, avocado and onion on top. Simple and delicious!

What kind of interest do you see in healthy eating in Spain? How do you find that melds with the native food culture?

There’s a growing niche of interest and health food stores, but awareness is low. Spain is five years behind the organic and healthy-eating curve. Slowly, the large grocery stores are adding organic produce sections, but some things like organic leafy greens are not always available. In working with Spanish clients, I’ve had a glimpse into typical home kitchens, which I’ve discovered are naturally quite balanced. In other words, the fried croquetas and Jamón Ibérico are not always reflective of everyday food customs at home. As Spanish food culture is rooted in the Mediterranean diet, I’ve noticed that conscious home cooks rely heavily on extra-virgin olive oil, fish and seafood, legumes, and fresh, local vegetables and fruit. This is a good base to help make upgrades in the kitchen.

Outside of this delicious mojo sauce, anything else you want to share with us, food-related or otherwise?

I’ve learned adaptability is key to avoiding a rigid, rules-based mindset. Until leaving the U.S. I took for granted the ease of one-stop food shopping. In Madrid I frequent various stores to find everything. Availability also varies. Whether I’m looking for organic kale or frozen berries, affordable almond butter, or wild salmon, living in Spain has taught me to be more adaptable with the foods that are available. For example, I use cabbage in place of kale in soups and salads.

I’ve also learned eating well is a mindset. It’s not only about adding in the good foods and lifestyle habits, but also adopting an attitude of flexibility, satisfaction, and variety when making these choices. We achieve this attitude by simply challenging our own thinking. Are we choosing that daily green smoothie and kale salad because we want it or because we fear losing “balance”? As a health coach, I guide women as they establish small daily habits to feel good in and about their bodies. Once I found the crossroads between nourishment and satisfaction in my own life, it made a tremendous difference in how I felt. And I want others to experience the same.

Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce

How to make eggplant involtini and mojo sauce

Last year, Katie traveled to the Canary Islands (Fuerteventura). Nearly all dishes, including fish, potatoes, or vegetables, came with a red- or green-colored sauce called mojo sauce. It’s an olive-oil based sauce made with either paprika or cilantro. The red mojo from the Canaries inspired the mojo sauce for this eggplant involtini. Some variations include vinegar, cumin, and bread crumbs or blanched almonds to thicken.

For this mojo sauce, simply throw almonds into a blender with garlic, jarred roasted bell peppers, smoked paprika, and cumin, which add a depth of flavor. What results is a bright orange sauce that is seriously addictive. Other ways to use it: quinoa or rice, add a dollop to lentils and bowl meals, and serve it as a dip for raw vegetables. But here it’s rolled it up with thin slices of grilled eggplant to make eggplant involtini. This makes a perfect summer side dish or appetizer!

Profile shot by Anna Primavera; food photos by A Couple Cooks

Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce

Looking for eggplant recipes?

This eggplant involtini with mojo sauce is one of our favorite eggplant recipes to date. If you’re looking for other eggplant recipes, here are a few we love:

This recipe is…

This eggplant involtini with mojo sauce is vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the feta crumbles.

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Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce | A Couple Cooks

Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 20 to 24 rolls (serves 4 to 6) 1x

Description

This eggplant involtini with Spanish mojo sauce is an easy and delicious eggplant recipe; the bright orange garlicky sauce is instantly addicting.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Spanish mojo sauce

  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds (we used slivered blanched)
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 185 gram (170 net weight) jar roasted Piquillo peppers (about 8 drained Piquillo peppers)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the eggplant involtini

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • Coconut oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Toasted almonds, for the garnish
  • Feta crumbles, for the garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for the garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the Spanish mojo sauce: Drain the peppers and place them in a high-powered blender along with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust for acidity (sherry vinegar), smokiness (cumin), and salt.
  2. Set the oven to broil.
  3. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin planks, about 1/4-inch thick. You’ll get 10 to 12 slices from each eggplant, excluding end slices.
  4. Place the slices on lined baking sheet. Use a butter knife to spread a thin layer of coconut oil on each slice. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and broil for 5 minutes. Flip and broil about 3 more minutes, or until the slices are soft. You may have to remove thinner slices after the final 3 minutes and let thicker slices cook a few additional minutes. Stack the cooked slices so they steam and soften further.
  6. Place one eggplant slice on a cutting board with the narrow end pointing away from you. Dollop a tablespoon of mojo sauce on the wide end, then roll eggplant over sauce towards the narrow end. Repeat with remaining slices.
  7. Spread any leftover mojo sauce on a serving platter and place eggplant rolls on top. Garnish with almonds, feta, and cilantro.

Notes

*The recipe calls for jarred Piquillo peppers, a small sweet pepper grown in Northern Spain. If you cannot find jarred Piquillo peppers, use equal weight jarred roasted red bell peppers instead (about 4 to 6 bell peppers).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Eggplant, Eggplant Involtini, Involtini, Spanish, Spanish Mojo Sauce, Mojo Sauce

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

7 Comments

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 21, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Travel inspired recipes are truly some of my favorites too. Thanks for sharing the interview and this tasty bite of Spain with us!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      July 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Oh fantastic! Travel never ceases to inspire us. You are absolutely welcome!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    June 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Sonja and Alex, you did an amazing job with the photos! Love the animated roll-up. ;-).

    As always, I enjoyed collaborating with you – thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk more about our life in Spain. Waiting for your visit!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      July 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      And thank YOU for this incredible recipe! We are coming, we promise :)

  • Reply
    Sabrina B
    June 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    what a lovely and unique recipe and interview! thank you for this, the Canary Island mojo sauce looks really interesting since I already love all of those flavors, thank you for showing the roll up technique without resorting to a video, simple and nice!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      July 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you for these comments! The sauce is to die for — I’d wholeheartedly recommend it if you have a chance to make it!

  • Reply
    Berkeley Tapas Restaurant
    September 13, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Looks positively delicious! Piquillo peppers are classic in Spanish cuisine, but if you can’t find them, you can use jarred bell peppers (as you pointed out), or roast your own! If you have a gas burner, you can blister the peppers right on the stove top and then peel off the burned skin. Works like a charm!

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