Rosemary Eggplant Roll is another demonstration of the versatility of this great veggie; the eggplant. I use it as a wrap in this wonderful little appetizer. It’s sweetness contrasted with the rosemary garlic spread is tantalizing to the palate. Delicious!

 Centuries ago the chinese wonton was born in Guangzhou which lies on the Pearl River in China. Guangzhou was the hub of chinese trade with the close city of Hong Kong.

     Wonton consisted of a thin wrap made with flour, eggs, and water. First the ingredients were mixed to make the dough, Then the dough was rolled out until paper thin and cut into squares. A small amount of seasoned pork was most commonly used for filling,although, dates and figs were also used on occasion. After placing a small ball of stuffing in the center of each square, the wrap was folded over and pasted together around the edges with a little water and flour. Some were triangular in shape and others were squares..

     Broth was the secret ingredient of each family or restaurant. Various versions of the broth that these were cooked in became a source of pride and variety for the local people.

     The word Wonton means swallowing clouds. Wontons boiling in soup looked like little clouds to the people, hence the name. Another part of China used the word “Huntun”. Huntun means chaos. The chaos that existed at the beginning of the world. The Huntun is a traditional food used to commemorate ones ancestors at the time of the winter solstice.

     Preparing the eggplant wrap reminded me of the Chinese Wonton. Eggplant makes an excellent raw wrap because it is able to be paired with almost anything. It can accomodate sweet, spicy, or anything in between. I chose a sweet marinade contrasted with a garlic rosemary combo.

      Please enjoy!

Rosemary Eggplant Roll

Ingredients:

1 medium to large sized eggplant
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. tamari
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Directions:
Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Then cut each slice in half. Place the slices in an air tight container and set aside.

Marinade Sauce:
Place all the ingredients in a large measuring cup and whisk together. Dip each piece of eggplant into the marinade sauce. Pour the marinade sauce over the eggplant slices and cover. Marinade in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Take a dehydrator tray with a teflex sheet and place the eggplant slices individually onto the sheet in rows. Keep the marinade sauce in the container for basting, and put back into the refrigerator. Dehydrate the eggplant at 145 degrees for 1 hour. Remove the tray from the dehydrator, flip over the eggplant slices and baste them with the marinade sauce. Continue dehydrating at 115 degrees for 4 hours. Remove from the dehydrator, flip the slices and baste them again. Continue dehydrating at 115 degrees for 4 hours more. Remove from the dehydrator and set aside.

Rosemary Garlic Spread Ingredients:
1 cup soaked cashews in filtered water for 4 hours
1 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped fresh garlic
½ tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 cup filtered water
2 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary

Directions:
Drain and rinse the cashews. Place them in a high speed blender with water, salt, garlic, onion powder, nutritional yeast, black pepper, and lemon juice. Blend until creamy smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Hand mix in the rosemary.
Makes 1 cup

Assembly:
Take 4 pearl tomatoes and slice them into ¼” thick slices lengthwise and then cut the slices in half. Place the eggplant slices onto a chopping block in rows. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over all the slices in a layer 1/8” thick. Place the tomatoes horizontally onto one end of each slice. Roll each slice up into a roll. Place them onto a serving plate. Put a small floret of cheese on top of each one with a rosemary and tomato garnish and serve immediately. Do not let them sit out because they will get soggy. In case they do, place them back into the dehydrator at 115 for an hour or so to firm up.

Please refer to the picture for assembly.

Makes approximately 12 rolls.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.