Eggplant was intended for a great love affair with basil. Like Harry and Sally, red wine and chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, blue jeans and T-shirts, some things are meant to be paired together, forever and always. You can smell each individually and sense that somehow, together they are a match made in culinary heaven. This recipe was created impromptu and can (should) be interpreted a million different ways in your own kitchen. My only intention here is to inspire more eggplant eating as a self-proclaimed eggplant hater, I'm here to arouse eggplant conversion because eggplant should be loved, or at the very least, tolerated.
Eggplant is so pleasantly sweet when roasted, holds creamy flesh inside with a slightly fibrous, toothsome skin that some may want to peel away, but who doesn't need an uptick in their fiber gram count today? As you may have guessed these bowl(s) were my dinner tonight and yes, I did eat both, and yes, I will confess to adding a beef burger patty to my plate, because, no, I don't expect my kids to live a vegan lifestyle nor myself either, I guess. Just priming my stomach for chef school, you could say.
Printable Recipe Here
Roasted Eggplant Rice Bowl
Yield: Serves 2
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 large eggplant, cubed, about 2 cups
1 medium-sized onion, cubed, about 1 cup
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Place the rice and water with a pinch of salt in a medium-sized saucepan with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Meanwhile, on a large sheet pan combine eggplant, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing once. Remove from oven when caramelized around the edges.
Place a scoop of rice in a bowl, top with roasted eggplant. Snip fresh basil over bowl. Nom.