Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thai Basil and Eggplant

On Sunday I went to the farmer's market to see what was going on in the world of veggies. I've been especially fond of this one Asian grower who has the most beautiful greens and veggies. Everything is super fresh and smells so good. Since this is the year to experiment and move out of my comfort zone, at this grower's stand, I can choose from a variety of new and "exotic" (at least to me) vegetables to do just that.

I've been in the mood for basil lately. It must be because the weather is warming up. I am really ready for the summery tastes of tomatoes, basil and zucchini. Not only did this Asian grower have Italian basil, but also lemon basil (oh, so tempting) and Thai basil. It would have been so easy to get the lemon basil. You know I'm a nut for anything lemon. But, I was reminded to be adventurous, so I decided on the Thai basil instead. After just one long inhale, I envisioned the basil in a stir-fry with eggplant, maybe with a little jasmine rice and tofu alongside. Thankfully, I had just bought some tofu and eggplant, so I was all set.

When I got home, I googled online recipes containing all these ingredients and found this one. It had good reviews, one saying it was "restaurant quality". I made it last night and it was really good.

Thai Basil and Eggplant Stir Fry

  • 1 cup jasmine rice, or cauliflower “rice"
  • 2 Tbs. peanut or coconut oil
  • ½ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 3 baby eggplants, cubed into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. dark soy sauce, such as tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar or honey
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped (optional)
  1. Cook jasmine rice according to package directions. Or if you’re low-carb, make “cauliflower rice” (search this blog for the recipe).
  2. Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet or wok-shaped pan over high heat. Add oil and crushed red pepper, and let sizzle for 10 to 15 seconds. Add eggplant and stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, and stir-fry for 3 minutes more. Add vinegar and soy sauce, or coconut aminos. Sprinkle with sugar (or honey), and toss for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Test the eggplant to make sure it's done to your liking (I find I like it cooked a little longer).
  3. Remove pan from heat, add basil leaves and toss to combine with eggplant. Serve over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with chopped scallions if you like.
  4. Serves 2-3.

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