This Spicy Eggplant with Tomato and Thai Basil was inspired by the fantastic summer brunch recipe ideas featured in this week’s #CookBlogShare – do have a look at this delicious collection if you haven’t seen it yet and I am sure you’ll be inspired too (and if you’ve got a recipe to share join the party!).
The recipe itself was quite spontaneous – I came across 2 lovely eggplants and some Thai basil in my fridge I’d forgotten I bought recently (this happens a lot!) and decided to make a light vegetarian dish that would be ideal for sharing at a summer brunch. My Spicy Eggplant with Tomato and Thai Basil is precisely that. Plus it is very easy to make (I know I say that a lot but you’ll agree with me when you read the Instructions below), not overloaded with too many ingredients, healthy and vegan too!
I discovered Thai basil only a few short months ago. I found its aroma intriguing though wasn’t sure what to do with it at first. It seemed exotic and not the type of basil suitable for Italian dishes (it really isn’t), but practice makes perfect and I am now much more confident using this lovely aromatic herb in my cooking (see my Thai Basil Chickpeas in Rich Tomato Sauce, which I posted a few weeks ago).
There is a perception that cooking eggplant has to involve using a lot of oil, which in turn can make the eggplant taste a little greasy and the dish quite calorific. I’ve avoided this problem by using only a few tablespoons of oil to first lightly brown the eggplant, and then adding only 2 tablespoons to the tomato sauce. It is up to you whether you choose to drizzle the dish with a bit more oil before popping it in the oven (I promise it still won’t be greasy if you do). See also my recent Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Eggplant), which is even lower in fat than this recipe.
Serve this aromatic Spicy Eggplant with Tomato and Thai Basil with chunks of fresh crusty bread and enjoy with friends or family at a summer party – it tastes great both hot and cold!
I am bringing this recipe to #CookBlogShare which I have the pleasure of hosting this week – if you’ve got a recipe join the party, and if you are not a blogger check out the fantastic summer brunch recipe ideas featured this week:)
Yields 4-5 portions
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 2 small eggplants (aubergine), cubed
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons Thai basil, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1.5 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli (with or without the seeds)
- 4 tablespoons white wine
- Olive oil for frying and drizzling
- Sea salt
- Onion and garlic granules
- In a large frying pan heat up 3 tablespoons of oil and fry the eggplant cubes over a fairly high heat for about 6 minutes, stirring often, to brown it a little. Sprinkle with salt, onion and garlic granules, add 2 more tablespoons of oil and continue frying for 2-3 more minutes, stirring often (don't let the eggplant darken too much). Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. You will need a large oven/casserole dish.
- In a saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add the garlic, ginger, chilli, onion and celery and fry for 2 minutes stirring often. Add the wine, stir and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes and Thai basil, season (I used 1 teaspoon of salt), cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and puree a little, so that your sauce is dotted with chunks of vegetables.
- Place the eggplant in your casserole dish, pour the sauce over and spread evenly, drizzle with a bit of oil (optional but highly recommended) and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.