Although roasting a fresh vegetable with oil and salt (perhaps some garlic) brings enough flavor to a meal, a squeeze of lemon juice and thai basil adds a summery citrus twist.
At the end of a hot summer day, using the grill outside beats heating the kitchen roasting vegetables. Let the long strips of eggplant and squash sit in lemon juice before putting them on the grill. Add the thai basil as you plate.
Here is a more traditional recipe with eggplant and thai basil that can be done quickly and spice up any meal. Although it calls for eggplant, summer squash can be substituted.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes, Total Time: 15 Minutes
- 2 chili peppers
- 2 eggplants
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 bunch leaves picked from the stem Thai basil
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
Slice the eggplants into irregular shapes for easy turning in the pan. When it is sliced into a small disk, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and makes it difficult to flip or turn.
Chop garlic and slice chili peppers. Pick the leaves from the stem of the Thai basil.
Heat a pan or wok over high or medium high. Add oil, chili peppers and garlic. Stir until the garlic turn golden brown. Add eggplant and stir. Add a cup of water and cover the pan or wok with a lid. Keep the lid close until the eggplant is cooked. It should take about 5-7 minutes before the eggplant is done. The eggplant turns from white to translucent when it is done. Almost all of the water should have been evaporated at this point. If the eggplant is still not cooked, add a little bit more water and keep lid closed until the eggplant is ready. Add fish sauce and sugar and stir. Add Thai basil and quickly stir to heat the basil, so that it retains it color. Turn off heat immediately.
Serve hot with rice.
For a vegetarian dish, substitute soy sauce or salt for fish sauce.