Roasting eggplant in the oven brings out its delicate flavor while giving it a more interesting texture than simply sauteing it.
Cut 1 eggplant lengthwise in 1/2″ thick slices. On a plate, mix together 1 T. soy sauce and 1 t. olive or sesame oil. Brush the slices with the mixture and place them on a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees or grill until the eggplant begins to brown on the bottom, then flip to brown the other side.
Dice 1 lb. of tomatoes and toss in a bowl with salt.
Core and thinly slice 2-3 sweet peppers in rounds. Toss with the tomatoes and add the juice of 1 lime and 1 T. Thai fish sauce (or soy sauce). Add chile pepper flakes to taste if you like.
Remove the leaves from 1 bunch of basil and tear the big ones into pieces. Toss with the tomatoes.
In a small pan, toast 1/2 C. of almonds or peanuts until lightly browned. Chop roughly.
Mince 2 cloves of garlic and toast in the pan over low heat in 1 T. olive oil. Don’t let the garlic burn.
When the eggplant is cooked, allow it to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into large cubes. Toss with the tomato mixture. Season with more lime juice and fish sauce/soy sauce. Top with the toasted nuts and garlic.
Serve the salad with Thai sticky rice or regular cooked rice or quinoa.