Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Risotto with Tarragon Eggplant and Peppers

Eggplants and peppers are still coming in from the garden in huge quantities right now.  Peppers I don't feel quite as pressed to use because they are so easy to freeze. But eggplants really don't take well to being preserved by virtually any method.  You can freeze cooked eggplant, but I find the texture deteriorates too much to be worth it.  So when we've got a bumper crop like we do this year, I find myself scrambling to use as much as I can without getting too repetitious.  Fortunately, eggplant works well with many different flavorings and types of cuisine.

This recipe uses a pressure cooker to make the risotto, as I pretty much always do now.

3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 medium shallots, minced
2 medium eggplants (preferably Italian style), peeled and cut into thin strips about 2 inches long
2 medium or large sweet red peppers, cut into thin strips
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 Tbsp dry sherry
Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the vegetables first, then make the risotto while they finish cooking.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or other wide bottomed pan.  Add most of the minced shallot, reserved 1-2 Tbsp of it for the risotto.  Saute over medium high heat for about 2 minutes, then add the eggplant and peppers.  Toss them well to get them coated with oil.  Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.  Then reduce the heat to low or medium low and cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft.  Add the tarragon, sherry, and salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes.
To prepare the risotto: Heat a little olive oil in the pressure cooker with the lid off, then add the reserved minced shallot. Saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the rice. Saute, stirring frequently, for another 2-3 minutes, until the rice turns translucent. Add all of the stock, cover, lock, and turn to the high pressure setting. Bring to pressure, then reduce heat (maintaining pressure) and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure. Stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

Serve the eggplant and pepper mixture over mounds of risotto.

Serves 4-5.


jhm said...

I know you said almost any method, but perhaps readers have never heard of Melanzane Sott'Olio. I think the first link below might be the more trustworthy, but the second is worth reading.
Example the first
Example the second

Meggin said...

Wow, thanks jhm! I was not familiar with this method either, but I think I will have to give it a try.