Another lovely risotto, and this one uses one of my most favourite vegetables — Eggplant. Soft and silky, it goes deliciously well in risotto.
|3 medium eggplant (around 250g)||salt and freshly ground pepper||50g sultanas|
|2 Tblspn brandy||5 Tblspn olive oil||2 Tblspn finely chopped onion|
|2 cloves garlic, finely chopped||500g ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped||1 Tblspn parsley, finely chopped|
|25g butter||200g risotto rice||5 – 7 cups water or light vegetable stock, simmering|
Beforehand: Cut the eggplant into 1 cm cubes. Sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander for an hour. Rinse well and pat dry.
Soak the sultanas in brandy for 15 minutes.
In a heavy based saucepan, heat 3 Tblspn oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the eggplant and tomatoes, and cook over a medium heat. After about 12 minutes, add the sultanas and cook for a further 3 minutes. Set aside.
At the time of serving:
As in the instructions for Basic Risotto, stir the rice through the butter and oil in a heavy based pan until the rice is coated. Stir for 2 minutes until you hear a cracking sound and the rice becomes translucent. Add a ladle of the simmering water or stock, and stir until it is absorbed. Continue adding more liquid in this manner until the rice is cooked.
Taste after 18 minutes. The rice should be firm to the bite. If you like it less chalky, cook for up to another 5 minutes, so that it is tender in the middle, but not soft.
Remove the rice from the heat, add the eggplant mixture and the parsley. Season, stir, cover and rest for 2 minutes before serving.