The hard part about eggplant is that there isn't so much you can do with it. (At least in my repertoire.) Can't eat it raw. We are still without a working oven, so no eggplant parmesan or baba ganoush. Don't really love ratatouille. I was really kind of at a loss. Then I thought: basil.
My friend Stephanie gave us a basil plant out of her backyard a few weeks ago. In spite of my continual inattention and even blowing over and losing all its soil a couple of times, it's still producing! I went out and plucked almost all the leaves.
Then I threw together this Thai-style stirfry. The distinction of the Thai stirfry is that it has no thickener, like cornstarch, to give the sauce that Chinese-takeout-glisten. It was fantastic tonight alongside: a raw squash, daikon, and carrot salad; meatballs with scallion, ginger, and garlic; and nuoc cham. Almost all the elements of this dinner used fish sauce as a seasoning. This Asian equivalent to Worcestershire is high in magnesium, which enhances a natural feeling of calm. Good for a wild girl before bedtime!
3 medium or 1 large eggplant, chopped into 2-inch chunks
1 T coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C water
1 T sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
2 T fish sauce
handful basil (Thai basil would be preferable), removed from stems
Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok until almost smoking. Add garlic and continuously stir very briefly, about thirty seconds. Drop in eggplant and let cook about a minute. Add water, cover, and let simmer until the eggplant has absorbed almost all the water - about 5 minutes. You want it to be quite soft. It might take a little more water and time.
Stir in sugar and fish sauce and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Cut the heat off, add in the basil, cover and let wilt for about a minute. Serve right away. Serves 4.
Sorry, only had leftover pictures! Who has time to photograph hot food while starving!?!?