Monday, August 2, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan in a Bowl

A neighbor gardener gave me an eggplant from his garden.  I wanted to try something different with it.  I've never made risotto and I made a go of it with the eggplant some other ingredients I had on hand. . . experiment . . . creamy, fresh, complex . . . delicious!   

Eggplant and Tomato Risotto Parmesan

2 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Eggplant, Peeled And Cut Into 1/2-Inch Dice
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Tony Chachere's Creole Spice
1/4 Cupe Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cups Chicken Stock 
2 Cups Water
1 Small Vidalia Onion, Minced
1 Cup Coarsely Chopped Tomatoes
1 Cup Arborio Rice
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp 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 and water 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 balsamic vinegar 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 Parmesan cheese. Stir in the eggplant and basil, reserving a little basil for garnish. Season with creole seasoning and transfer to bowls. Garnish with reserved chopped tomatoes and basil. Serve right away.


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