I am not a fan of Rachel Ray -- she with her EVOO this and PEI that. She's too happy for me to want to spend too much time with, and her family-cooking recipes these days tend to be, well, gross. But, if you go back in time before she was overly-exposed, she had some good ideas. A few years ago, she was featured as an up-and-coming chef in Vegetarian Times. This recipe comes from this particular issue, from June 2004.
Thai Spicy Eggplant with Sweet Basil
Rachel Ray in Vegetarian Times, June 2004
1 c jasmine rice
2 T peanut oil
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 eggplant, cubed into bite-sized chunks
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T white vinegar
3 T tamari sauce
2 T dark brown sugar
20 leaves basil, shredded or torn
Begin by cooking your spices -- here red pepper flakes -- in hot oil. Let them release their flavors by cooking 10-15 seconds. Then, add cubed eggplant and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add other vegetables (I didn't have red bell pepper, so used an orange one I had in the fridge) and cook 3 minutes. Add liquids, sprinkle with sugar, and finish with some quick cooking (about 4 minutes). Top with julienned basil.
It's that easy! Serve over jasmine rice.
I am also always looking for a way to replicate the delicious spicy eggplant they serve at my favorite Thai restaurant in Austin, Titaya's. This was close, but lacked the drippy, plentiful sauce they serve at the restaurant. I guess more experimentation is in my future.
Farm box ingredients used: eggplant, onion, garlic, basil