This is a bit of an odd-ball rice dish. Tremendously tasty. The diced-up eggplant gives it a curious texture that you don't often run into. It's quite a popular side dish in Turkey, so I'm told.
Makes enough for 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish
1 small eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup rice (preferably long-grain), rinsed
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 large bunch dill, chopped
Salt to taste
Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. (I left the seeds in, since I think they're pretty, but feel free to take them out.) Rinse the cubes and press them with a towel to get all the extra moisture out.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and quickly brown the eggplant cubes. Remove the eggplant cubes and set aside to let them drain.
Add the rice and tomatoes to the oil, and cook over medium heat, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat the low and cook until all the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender (if the rice is not tender yet, add a bit more water).
Stir in the eggplant and the dill. Cover, set the heat to the very lowest setting, and let cook for about 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom (if it is, add a little bit of water to loosen it up). Serve hot.