Chili sauce is one of those ingredients strongly associated with certain recipes. I use it mostly in a meatball appetizer and one particular chili recipe, but it’s a great flavor for lots more.

In this case, it provides both the necessary liquid and flavor for the mild-tasting eggplant. You don’t want a sauce of any kind to overwhelm the main attraction, in this case the eggplant.

By way of trivia, the eggplant, while commonly thought of as a vegetable, is in reality a fruit and rich in folic acid and potassium.

For those of you with an abundance of garden eggplants, this is one more idea for something different. It’s also one of those dishes that cooks fairly quickly in the slow cooker. Four hours is about all you will need, but there is no harm in stretching it to six if you need to.

Serve alone or over elbow macaroni or a favorite pasta of choice. I chose whole-wheat penne pasta for testing purposes.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at