I’m in love with tonight’s dinner! Or at least I have been since I ate it a half hour ago…eggplant tends to do that to me.
It has actually been quite a few months since I originally bookmarked a recipe for “Tibetan Ratatouille” on Just Bento, but since it won’t be long before we lose eggplant and tomatoes to the change of seasons, I thought I should go for it sooner rather than later.
The thing is, I loved the idea of Tibetan ratatouille (love eggplant, love Asian cuisine) but I did not so much love this recipe’s ingredients. So naturally, I changed pretty much everything and this dish cleaned up right nice, if I do say so myself.
Diana’s Tibetan Ratatouille (original recipe here)
- 1 large eggplant (about 1.5 lbs), cubed
- 5 large tomatoes (about 2 lbs), chopped
- ~ 3 inches of a leek, diced (alternatively, use scallions)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive, sesame, etc.)
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 inches ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp nama shoyu (or soy sauce)
- 2 cups frozen chopped spinach
- Place a wok or large skillet over high heat. Swirl oil to coat the surface.
- Add eggplant and press against the side of the wok to scorch the surfaces. Stir-fry vigorously for 5 minutes or so, then add garlic and ginger and continue to stir-fry, making sure nothing is browning too fast or sticking to the bottom.
- Add 1 tsp sea salt and stir to combine, then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir-fry for a few minutes, until the juices are released and the tomatoes begin to soften.
- Add leeks/onions and cayenne (plus more salt, if desired) and stir until mixture comes to a boil.
- Cover and boil, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is nearly done to your liking (at least a good 15-20 minutes or so, for me!), at which point add nama shoyu/soy sauce and spinach and stir until all is thawed and well combined.
- Serve over brown rice and top with additional leeks/scallions and/or additional nama shoyu, if desired.
If it seems like a rather salty recipe, I wouldn’t blame you—and that’s after I cut a lot out! The original recipe called for 2 tsp of salt, plus more to taste, and then 2-4 tbsp soy sauce! And that’s not taking into account the fact that it also called for canned tomatoes and a half-cup of broth. I’m probably heavier-handed with salt than I ought to be, but even I could tell that the recipe was too salty before ever tasting it. I did add 2 tsp sea salt, but wrote 1 tsp above because next time I would definitely stay conservative and only add more after serving, if need be. Know thyself and salt accordingly!
Clean and Vegan MoFo-worthy: it doesn’t get much better than that, in my world. :)
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