Yes, I'm aware that it's only Thursday, but this is the kind of dish that is perfect for the end of the week. It's one of those dishes that uses up those items in your refrigerator that you've been trying to figure out what to do with all week. Lots of the ingredients in this can be subbed out to accommodate what you already have. I used this great rice/lentil blend that I found in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, but any rice or pasta will work for this as well.
What you'll need:
1 lb. of rice, quinoa or pasta
1 small or 1/2 large eggplant, cubed
1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced
a couple handfuls of mushrooms
a handful of spinach, chard or whatever green you've got around
3 cloves of garlic
a couple handfuls of grape tomatoes, or any tomatoes, but if they are bigger, chop them
about 5 basil leaves, thinly sliced
pine nuts optional
What you'll do:
Put the rice or pasta on to cook. Cook according to the directions. That being said, if I'm making rice I usually will cook it in vegetable broth or toss in some chopped garlic and or onion into the pot to give it a little flavor.
While that is cooking, in the largest saute pan you have, saute the eggplant with some olive oil and a big sprinkle of salt on medium high heat. Toss a few times. When the eggplant is starting to get a little golden on the edges, reduce heat to medium and add in the onions. Toss together and about 2 minutes later, reduce the heat to medium low and add in the mushrooms. Again toss together and let cook for a few minutes. You may have to add another drizzle of olive oil if your eggplant absorbed it all. When the onions are soft and shiny, add in the garlic, greens (unless you are using spinach, then save it for the end), and tomatoes. Toss together.
When the rice/pasta is done cooking, pour it all into a large serving dish or bowl. In the frying pan, toss in the spinach, basil, and nuts. Gently mix it all together and pour right on top of your rice or pasta. Serve family style.
Of course you can always plate these individually as well. 🙂