Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Herbed Risotto with Eggplant and Peppers

For some reason, our eggplant production sort of exploded this month. Saturday I made Hunan-Style Eggplant with Bacon and Shiitake Mushrooms, Sunday I made this risotto, and I'm plotting out the rest of the week around things that contain lots of eggplant. Eggplant doesn't take that well to freezing or other methods of preservation, so we may as well gorge on it while it lasts! It will be gone with the first real frost.

This recipe makes a large batch - enough for two meals for my family. But it halves easily.

Olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 1/2 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut in small dice
1 lb sweet frying peppers, chopped (bell is okay)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped fresh basil

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
3 cups uncooked Arborio rice
7 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
Toasted pinenuts or almonds for topping (optional)

I prepared the risotto in the pressure cooker, but you can always do it the old fashioned way if you prefer. For the pressure cooker: Heat the olive oil, then add the shallot and saute over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and saute, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes more. Pour in the water or stock, close and lock the lid, and turn the heat to high. When it reaches pressure, cook for 7 minutes on high pressure, then remove from heat and release pressure. Remove the lid and stir in the goat cheese and basil.

While the risotto is cooking, saute the vegetables. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet, then add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggplant and peppers and continue to saute over medium heat until nice and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in the basil, and remove from heat.

Serve the vegetables over mounds of the risotto. Top with toasted nuts if desired.

Serves 6-8.

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