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Serve with cherry-rich red: 2006 Chateau de La Chaize Brouilly. A healthy & vegetarian dish. For this super simple risotto, Chef Jonathan Justus, grills eggplant until smoky and charred & then blends the creamy flesh into the cooked rice. Just before serving he sprinkles on sumac, a tart Middle Easten spice made from the dried berry. Chef Jonathan Justus opened his Smithville, Missouri restaurant in his family's former drugstore last year (hence its name, James Drugstore). From F&W Magazine, 08/2008 - from "Green" Living Guide, Local Flavors.
- 1 (1 1/2 lb) eggplants
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1⁄2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
- 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups hot vegetable stock or 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 -2 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ground sumac
- Light a grill.
- Rub the eggplant with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until charred and soft, 20 minutes; let cool slightly.
- Halve the eggplant lengthwise and scoop the pulp into a blender; puree until creamy.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the onion, shallot, garlic and rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook until it is absorbed.
- Add the vegetable stock with crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup at a time; stir constantly until it is absorbed before adding more.
- Cook until the rice is al dente, 20 minutes total.
- Stir in the eggplant puree and the cream and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the parsley and scallions.
- Spoon the risotto into bowls, sprinkle with sumac and serve.
We liked this risotto. It was an interesting change-up from our typical risotto recipes. We made no modifications to the ingredients or cooking instructions. I enjoyed grated parmesan cheese over mine. Thanks!
This recipe tasted so good that I can't wait to make it again! I had to make a few changes which included: baking the eggplant because I don't have a grill, and because I didn't have any shallots or sumac, I substituted more onions for shallots and paprika for sumac. (I considered adding lemon juice in place of sumac but I didn't want to risk having the cream curdle.)