Spicy Basil Eggplant With Dates and Cashews

 
Posted7/11/2018 10:01 AM
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  • Spicy Basil Eggplant With Dates and Cashews.

    Spicy Basil Eggplant With Dates and Cashews. Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post/Food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

4 teaspoons sesame oil

One 12-ounce eggplant, cut into bite-size cubes (5 cups)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 medium red onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

½-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

1 orange or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (may substitute fresh lemon juice)

2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (may substitute coconut aminos), or more as needed

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (see note)

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

5 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

½ cup chopped raw cashews

Cooked brown rice, for serving

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the eggplant cubes, sprinkle with the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the cubes are browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the same skillet, over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and cook until it loses a little of its crunch, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the eggplant to the pan, along with the vinegar, tamari and cayenne; cook, gently tossing, for 2 to 3 minutes, so the flavors meld and the pan juices form a sauce. Taste, and add more tamari, as needed. Remove from the heat, then stir in the basil.

Sprinkle the dates and cashews on top. Serve warm, over brown rice.

Note: For a less-spicy version, reduce the cayenne to 1/8 teaspoon.

Serves 4

Nutrition | Per serving: 220 calories, 6 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 490 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar

Adapted from "Ageless Vegan: The Secret to Living a Long and Healthy Plant-Based Life," by Tracye McQuirter (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2018).

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