It was a busy week. I finished up with one job and started the new job with no down time. There were days I was going into the new job while answering texts and emails from the old job. Needless to say my cooking creativity took a back seat to relatively easy.
That isn’t to say I didn’t cook. I experimented with two recipes from the Plenty cookbook and both were pretty good. The Brussels Sprouts and tofu was a little bitter for me, but it had some nice flavors and texture.
But the star dish of the week was the Lemon Eggplant Risotto. I really wanted to do a risotto since we had the Parmesan from our cheese box. The original recipe called for two eggplants, but I only had one on hand so I went with that.
1 eggplant (recipe calls for two and I think that would work better)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
7 oz risotto rice
1/2 cup white wine (warmed)
3.5 cup vegetable stock
1 lemon (zest all and squeeze the juice from 1/2)
1 tablespoon butter
1 oz or so grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat oil in a pan and cook the eggplant about ten minutes, stirring frequently. Add more oil as needed (I start out with a little and add more as I go rather than start out with a lot and have to drain it). Set aside, sprinkle with a little salt.
Chop the onion. Add a little oil to a pan and cook the onion until soft and translucent – about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Turn up the heat, add the rice and cook a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the warm wine and cook until nearly evaporated/absorbed. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the broth/stock a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until it is all absorbed. Wait to add each 1/2 cup until the previous cup is incorporated.
Remove from heat and add most of the the lemon zest, lemon juice, eggplant, butter, cheese and a touch of salt. Let sit, covered, for five minutes. To serve, add a little lemon zest and shredded or chopped basil leaves.
This one was a pretty perfect risotto. The lemon and eggplant gave it a fresh, hearty quality and we could really taste the cheese. This is definitely going in the make again pile. It wasn’t as pretty as the Brussels sprouts and tofu, but it was fantastic.