When I saw this recipe on Savory Safari, I couldn't wait to make it! My husband is not an eggplant fan, so I rarely use it, but even the risk of disappointing him couldn't keep my from trying this.
(Sidenote: he totally complimented this dinner. I didn't tell him there was eggplant in it until the next day; he claims he knew.)
This dinner was so ridiculously delicious. I completely banned him from taking leftovers for work - they were MINE!
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth, for a fully
- vegetarian dish)
- 1 small Vidalia onion, minced
- 1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata (2 ounces) - I didn't have any, so I used mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup julienned basil
1. In a large sauté pan with high sides (the same pan you want to use for the risotto), heat the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a rapid simmer. In the sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until thoroughly coated, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the wine and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits in the pan, until the wine is nearly absorbed. Add the hot stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed between additions. When the rice is about half cooked, add the chopped tomatoes, reserving a small handful for garnish. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a creamy liquid, about 25 minutes total.
4. Remove the risotto from the heat. Vigorously stir in the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, then stir in the ricotta salata and parmesan cheeses. Stir in the eggplant and basil, reserving a little basil for garnish. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to bowls. Garnish with reserved chopped tomatoes and basil. Serve right away.