1/3tspeach: onion and garlic granules and fine sea saltfor seasoning the eggplant
Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6.
In a saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add the garlic, ginger, chilli, onion and celery and fry for 2-3 minutes stirring often. Add the wine, stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, Thai basil and salt, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and blitz briefly so that your sauce is dotted with chunks of vegetables.
As the sauce is bubbling away prepare the eggplant. In a pan heat up 3 tablespoons of oil, add the chopped eggplant and fry over a medium heat for about 6 minutes until lightly browned, stirring often. Season lightly with salt, garlic and onion powders, add 2 more tablespoons of oil and fry for 2 more minutes stirring often. Transfer into your casserole dish. The eggplant will finish cooking in the casserole.
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 immediately.
Make the tomato sauce chunky by briefly blitzing to break up the larger pieces only.
When frying the eggplant stir often using a spatula to prevent it browning too much.
Herbs: I used thai basil but you could swap that for tarragon or cilantro if you prefer.
Serve this aromatic easy eggplant casserole with fresh crusty bread, rice, couscous or quinoa. It tastes great either hot and cold!